Scott joined in 2012 as Vice President of Advertising to develop and lead the company’s advertising business and was promoted in 2017 to GM and SVP of Advertising. In late 2017 he became GM of Platform Business overseeing both advertising and content and services. Before joining Roku, Scott co-founded and served as CEO of Umami Co, a companion TV mobile application company. Prior, Scott served as Vice President of Advanced Advertising at Rovi Corporation, where he led advertising sales. He also served as Director of Product Management at BlackArrow, Inc., a TV ad serving technology company. Earlier in his career, Scott held product and engineering roles focused on advertising and video technologies at Replay TV, Analog Devices and Intel Corporation. Scott holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Princeton University and was a Fulbright Fellow to Japan. He also holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an M.B.A. from the Sloan School at MIT.
The definition of the term “Advanced TV” is still a bit vague. What are two key principles that a proper definition of Advanced TV should have?
“Advanced TV” was a term originally coined for cable and TV ad systems. At Roku, we tend not to use the term, and instead just sell our media as “OTT.” This term natively embodies all the things we all imagined “advanced TV” might become — the branding power of TV combined with the targeting and measurement of digital. We believe all TV will be streamed, and all advertising will be streamed as well.
What market forces will push the industry towards Advanced TV?
Streaming is becoming mainstream. Cord-cutters, cord-shavers and cord-nevers are fast growing audiences that are no longer reachable on linear TV. As a result, consumers are becoming more discerning of the kinds of ads they’ll accept. They want fewer and more relevant ads, but have shown they are willing to watch ad supported free content. Free is the most searched term on Roku’s website. Publishers (programmers) are also feeling increased pressure to offer their ad clients ads that are more effective and efficient. In short, consumer and industry pressure are combining to bring “Advanced TV” a reality — and it’s happening on OTT.
What tools/technology/innovation are missing on the buy-side for Advanced TV to grow?
Today, there are robust tools and technology that allow advertisers to target, measure, and optimize campaigns on OTT. Unlike earlier incarnations of “Advanced TV,” OTT also benefits from the use of industry standards like IAB VAST, and the massive online ad tech ecosystem. To fully realize the potential of OTT as an advanced measurement and targeting platform, publishers should actively invest in app development, ad-tech partnerships, and data-provider relationships.
Which types of advertisers would probably have the most success with Advanced TV today – e.g. Verticals, Branding vs. DR, etc.
Every advertiser that spends on TV today has a place in OTT advertising. Streaming TV is TV. OTT advertising combines the best of TV and digital, and represents a bright new path forward for publishers, advertisers, and the platforms and vendors that service them.