Broadcast and Cable companies join forces to promote TV Advertising

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A new trade organization, the Video Advertising Bureau, was unveiled on Monday to promote research and data that quantifies the impact of TV content in generating sales traffic for a marketer. The organization replaces the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau as it adds major broadcast networks like NBCUniversal and CBS Corp. to its ranks. Other trade group members include cable channels like A&E Networks and AMC Networks and cable providers such as Cablevision, Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

While television remains the biggest advertising medium, the industry has faced declining ratings, and marketers have been gradually moving ad dollars more into digital media, which can offer sophisticated ad targeting and reach audiences that are eschewing traditional TV.  In response, TV networks have been beefing up their own data and analytics capabilities to help marketers target viewers beyond just age and gender.

The VAB will provide advertisers with research and insights into video advertising, including new primary research on the impact of TV commercials.  Marketers, in particular, want better measurement tools to gauge if their TV buys are driving consumers to a purchase.

“We’re in a data proof point and analytics era, we have to provide data proof points and analytics around context questions, commitment, connectivity and about what binds people to content and how that affects sales,” said VAB Chief Executive Sean Cunningham. In addition to pushing for sales attribution data, the VAB will also weigh in on issues such as viewability.

The VAB, comprised of 110 networks and the 11 largest pay-TV distributors, represents an evolution of the video marketplace. Broadcast and cable networks both produce premium, long-form video, and the two now have more in common than not, Mr. Cunningham said.

Bringing together broadcast and cable will give the TV industry a stronger voice, said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCUniversal.

“It really is a one-video world or one-television world, and it really doesn’t matter if it’s broadcast or cable or how the content gets to the screen,” Ms. Yaccarino said. “It really just matters that it’s premium content, which really is the lion’s share of video consumption,”