Page 21 - Adnews Magazine May-June 2021
P. 21

                                       5 minutes with...
Xandr senior account director Mark Serhan shares his thoughts on some of the big changes at both Xandr and across the broader advertising industry.
The last year has accelerated change in consumer viewing habits, with CTV taking up more share than ever. How has the advertising industry responded?
It’s safe to say that BVOD has been a star performer for television in Australia at 52.7% growth in the second half of 2020, with much of the consumption taking place on Connected TV devices. While COVID has accelerated many industry changes, increasing cross-screen consump- tion of premium content was already well underway. We are starting to see greater collaboration between advertisers and broadcasters particularly when it comes to developing a unified audience identifier. In parallel with improved user experience, thanks to technologies such as server-side ad insertion and broadcasters embracing live streaming, there are now more opportunities than ever for advertisers to lean into CTV. Conceptually, the industry is moving away from the catch-up TV model to on-demand (premium libraries and live streaming), contained in compelling BVOD apps.
Can you tell us about Xandr’s biggest achievements
over the past 12 months?
We’ve had an incredible 12 months largely driven by ongoing product and engineering investments and a consultative approach to solving some of the industry’s key challenges. As a result, we’ve made significant headway with long-form video header bidding, we’ve expanded our video marketplace to include all premium BVOD operators via our SSP, Xandr Monetize, and we’ve developed tools which allow broadcasters to safely surface their audience data in a privacy-safe manner.
Why are you so passionate about this space?
I started my career at Nine helping to build Australia’s first premium video marketplace. This exposed me to the power of great content matched with great technology, all activated by talented people. I’m fortunate to work in an industry where there are so many interesting challenges to solve, particularly when it comes to building a TV-first experience in digital. I’m also a big believer in the role that relevant advertising plays in underwriting the world-class content we enjoy on a daily basis.
Where do you see the industry heading in the next
12-24 months?
We’ll continue to see premium publishers and broadcasters adopt Prebid-based solutions to better monetise their inventory while also improving the user experience. Broadcasters will continue to bolster their own/industry addressable offerings and surface these to buyers in meaningful, privacy-safe ways. Lastly, we’ll see a huge increase in content made available for live streaming, particularly in the gaming, music and entertainment space.
We are starting to see greater collaboration between advertisers and broadcasters particularly when it comes to developing a unified audience identifier.
In terms of progress
in CTV and streaming more broadly, how does Australia compare to a more advanced market such as the US?
I think there’s this great miscon- ception that the US is far ahead of us. That may be true when it comes to Advanced TV but we’re really leading the pack when you look at BVOD consumption, CTV device penetration and the availability of premium video inventory programmatically. When you also consider the status of measurement via VOZ and also the great leap made in CTV identity graphs locally, we can be proud of our progress.
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