Advanced Television

Consultant calls for FTA addressable data body

May 1, 2020

By Colin Mann

Nigel Walley, MD of UK media consultancy Decipher, has called for the UK TV industry to create for a new addressable data body for the free-to-air TV market, suggesting that over half the homes in the UK use a TV platform from one of the ‘free’ platform providers (Freeview, Freesat and YouView) and therefore block out half the audience for new advertising innovation around linear.

In a video contribution to The Future of TV Advertising UK event, Decipher suggested that the original motivation for the creation of these bodies, allowing viewers access to the digital TV revolution without needing a subscription from a platform, was becoming a barrier to funding further innovation on their behalf.

According to Decipher, not having viewer data (as opposed to BARB ‘audience data’ which is unusable for addressability) becomes a problem in an increasingly data-centric world.  Decipher thinks this is a key hurdle to full roll-out of addressability in the UK is the lack of innovation in this area on FTA platforms, Freeview, Freesat and YouView.

“We need a new body established that can incentivise and co-ordinate data capture for those free-to-air broadcasters that operate across those platforms,” declares Walley, suggesting that this would also lessen the UK’s dependency on pay-TV operator Sky for ad innovation.

Walley identifies one problem that needs to be resolved is the focus of the main shareholders in these platforms – the PSBs – who currently focus all their attention and innovation money on their own catch-up apps. “These apps are responsible for only four-to-five per cent of their total viewing and have very poor data compared to other players in the market. A joint initiative with shared data, and federated log-in could add weight to the data and provide a basis for the main TV platforms to evolve,” he concludes.

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