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Ten instant insights on the future of media

TV is "a ticking time bomb", according to Anna Forbes' keynote. The UK general manager The Trade Desk says there's a more urgent need for strategy to fall in line with TV consumption habits than we realise... that's just one of ten instant insights about the future of media.

Ten instant insights on the future of media

1 Mind the gap
Forbes acknowledged that "TV is still one of the most effective ad mediums" but there is a disconnect between how consumers spend their time versus how ads are spent, and it’s creating "an economic gap". She believes that internet-enabled TV will overtake linear TV in terms of consumer habits within five years – "a lot faster than most analysts are predicting". And the likes of Netflix "will show ads because they need to meet their rising production costs, they can’t keep putting subscription fees up and they need to enter markets that won’t pay £15 a month".

2 "5G will change TV forever"
Forbes praised the approach of AT&T’s "super smart" to have a foot in three camps: content (through their acquisition of Time Warner), technology (by investing in 5G) and monetisation (through the acquisition of AppNexus).

3 "Programmatic is not going to be a 'thing' – quite quickly …"
… but TV still "needs programmatic more than any other channel ever has". Forbes added: "To capture that maximum value you have to make your ads work harder and smarter. TV companies can’t just show more ads, it’s a really inferior experience." Soon, every media type will transact programmatically: in an automated way driven by data.

4 Value not price
We shouldn’t do things on the cheap, urged Forbes. "This shouldn’t be a debate about price," she says. "Don’t ask what’s the least I can pay and expect a good job. You need transparency, the best work and the best price. With the focus on precision marketing and the brand’s focus on creating a competitive advantage, you need the best work."

5 Less is more – and you had better embrace it
There will be fewer, more costly ads in the future, said Forbes, but "they will be more relevant and they will be worth it. This will be good for everyone. Ad spam is not a healthy user experience".

6 No such thing as a free… internet
While most people understand that decent content costs money, Forbes urged the industry "to do a better job educating consumers that the internet is not free. You are trading something – that has historically been data and that you’re seeing ads. A recent survey actually stated that data consent windows are more annoying than ads!"

7 "Change how we think"
Understanding and using data is the future. "We can know with data ahead of time whether something’s going to work or not," said Forbes. "The agencies, publishers and brands who embrace data are the ones who’ll do really well." The Don Draper of the future is going to be a data expert. "We need to change how we hire and how we think."

8 Beware of in-housing
Forbes warns against the temptation of in-housing, advocating a hybrid model. "The landscape has become more complex," she said. "But it’s not necessarily the time to take the programmatic strategy in-house. In-housing to us is about working with savvy brands who understand their data assets and want to put it to work, have transparency, and want to work with an activation partner."

9 Another click in the wall
Forbes spoke passionately that "walls do not work", using the analogy of economics. "Economically, it’s irrational to create friction. The cities like Singapore and Hong Kong that have removed economic friction have grown rapidly. Why would you want to shut off demand? Walled gardens impact the ability to deliver holistic, precision marketing and brands need to speak with their wallets to speed up this change."

10 The rising tide
The future is exceptionally bright. "The ad industry is booming – in eight years it will be worth $1 trillion," she said. "This isn’t a zero-sum game – a rising tide can carry all ships. We’re making fewer ads, which is better for publishers, better for advertisers and ultimately better for consumers. But we need to hire faster, smarter, about ten times the people we do at the moment."

The session…

Forbes’ delivered her keynote, Future of advertising: living in a connected world at Media 360 in Brighton in May. The Trade Desk powers the most sophisticated buyers in advertising technology. It has become the fastest growing demand-side platform in the industry offering agencies, aggregators, and their advertisers best-in-class technology to manage display, social, mobile, and video advertising campaigns. For more information, see here.

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