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What do you think is the biggest challenge that the television industry needs to address?
There’s clearly a lot of disruption to navigate and new technologies to exploit, but I think something that would help the industry a great deal is if we could better align on how we measure viewing across different methods of watching TV. Initiatives like Dovetail and C Flight are great to see as the inability to understand campaign performances across the disparate ways people consume TV doesn’t help either broadcasters or advertisers.
How has the rate of change in the way content is produced, distributed and consumed enabled addressable advertising to accelerate in the UK?
The UK leads the way for Addressable Advertising in Europe thanks to the high rate of adoption of both OTT AVOD services and more traditional viewing taking place on connected devices. This has created large volumes of audiences for advertisers to segment alongside the development of the technology to create seamless ad replacements.
Which area of innovation excites you most and why?
It’s perhaps not the first thing that springs to mind in terms of “excitement” but I think there’s some very interesting things happening around consent management, helping keep viewers better informed about what’s being done with their data and for what purpose. I’m a bit geeky in this area, but I get excited about the potential for greater collaboration and innovation once viewers are more comfortable with the data in question and have a better understanding of what’s in it for them.
What might “watching TV” look like in 2030?
I’d hope for more advancement in curation of the viewing experience, with platforms bringing together programming from live and all the on-demand and subscription services in a household based on the time the viewing is taking place and the likely viewers in the room. I’d also like to see a more level playing field in terms of the regulation that applies to broadcaster services and digital first services that are all consumed via the same device in the same setting.
What is your current favourite TV Show?
As much as the “Golden age of TV” has become a cliché, we are really spoiled for choice so it’s very hard to pick one favourite. Like everyone else I loved Succession, the final episode of the latest season took my breath away. I’m a sucker for a good spy drama so I’m enjoying the Ipcress File on ITV and Slow Horses on Apple TV+. From an entertainment perspective Taskmaster is a show that never fails to makes me laugh. And the shows I have recommended most to other people are Schitt’s Creek and Ted Lasso, if you haven’t watched either, stop reading this and do that instead!
What is your desert island luxury item?
If I can’t have a TV, I’d take my Kindle. A desert island would be a great place to catch up on my reading backlog.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I think people can expect me to have more of a technical background for the role I have. My actual previous experience is more client side, focusing on campaign objectives, which I hope helps to keep my focus on driving the right outcomes for advertisers.
If you weren’t working in this sector, where would you be working?
I’ve been lucky enough to work in this sector for most of my career so I’m not sure I’m qualified for much else! I did work in restaurant kitchens back when I was at college and I did try and improve my home cookery skills during lockdown, so perhaps I missed my calling as the next Gordon Ramsay!