Sky: ‘Too many people get caught up with mobile first’

Marketers are too focused on the platform rather than the user experience, according to Jamie West, deputy managing director at Sky Media.


Following the news that Verizon completed a $4.4 billion deal to buy AOL on 23 June, with a reported summer launch of mobile first video service with live TV content, top marketers gathered in Cannes to discuss the future of TV ad buying.

Speaking to Marketing Week after the panel event, hosted by AOL, West said: “Too many people get caught up in this phrase ‘mobile first’ and quite frankly that’s missing the point.”

“If you are a consumer, it’s about how you can access content with the best user experience.”

Jamie West, Deputy MD Sky Media

Brian Angiolet, senior vice president of consumer products at Verizon, believes it is about consumption. Addressing the panel he said: “If you look at generation Z or millennials, some people aren’t watching TV traditionally [so] the primary consumption will be on mobile.”

However, separating and planning spend by channel is not the future, according to Sky. The brand predicts that the industry will see a ‘mixed economy’ in the coming years and doesn’t think the future is all about programmatic buying.

West said: “The biggest change, which I think will happen in months rather than years, is that media will no longer be bought in silos via digital, TV, press or outdoor and it will be a single customer view.”

Working with available data

One of the biggest barriers that the TV industry is facing is becoming addressable – knowing exactly who is watching TV. The challenges lie in the integration of the old ratings, or audience figures and data, and the new ways that brands measure audience behaviour, particularly when viewers watch linear and digital TV on multiple devices.

Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCUniversal called it a year for transition in the way that traditional ratings are meeting behavioural targeting.

On Nielsen ratings, Yaccarino said: “Not all audiences are measured, yet that is the currency in which we transact in our business.”

NBCUniversal uses sister company ComCast’s set top box data to offer brands a ‘refined media plan’, which Yaccarino describes as an “aggressive step” because it “exposes the value of data in different ways other than just a rating”.

On data, Sky also announced plans to expand its viewer panel, which collects TV viewing data from consumers via the set top box, to 5.2 million by 2015 from its current 500,000. It will enable Sky to build out both an understanding of linear TV viewing and extend this knowledge into digital.

It will aid the brand in delivering sequential advertising by extending audience segments across multiple platforms and creating seamless campaigns across platforms.

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