GroupM chairman Irwin Gotlieb has urged TV broadcasters to put aside their issues and share audience data or risk viewers shunning ad supported TV in their droves.
"What scares me most", he told an audience at the Future of TV Advertising Forum in London earlier today (30 November), "is the shift of audiences away from advertising supported TV”.
He said that the industry should unite to encourage more subscription services such as Netflix to adopt a hybrid model. Should that happen then it could accelerate the rollout of addressable TV, whereby advertisers are able to target their ads via set-top boxes using first, second or third party data.
Having that ability would allow the likes of GroupM to purchase higher value ads targeting specific audiences and demographics rather than network or program-specific buys.
“Broadcasters differentiate by content, so they would not be giving up differentiation by sharing data,” Gotlieb argued. "I cannot deal with silos - I need to aggregate audiences."
He also claimed it was too difficult for buyers to deal with vendors who want to offer their data sets in individual silos.
But he kept much of his criticism for the structure of the US market, where there is strong demarcation between the TV companies and content producers.
"Each side doesn't like each other and this is holding the US market back. They have to put their petty differences aside for the good of the industry and the good of the consumer," he said.
Meanwhile he also gave insights into the promotion of Lyle Schwartz into the role of Group M's president of investment. "This is a nod to the value of data and research - he has some great talents to take the business forward."