Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore. Local TV’s in Tornado Alley.

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It is possible that the local TV market is in the early throes of reinventing itself, for real. Climate change is real in local TV. The key ingredients are in place. The incumbent local video players are the local TV groups and MVPDs. Local TV groups are transitioning to ATSC 3.0 and launching OTT businesses to compete with skinny bundles to take on the Netflix and Hulu superstars. MVPDs are amping up their infrastructure to offer much faster bandwidth and tie in mobile and OTT services. The local video industry is fundamentally reorganizing itself, dare we say reinventing itself, to put content where consumers are, regardless of platform, device or application.

It’s exciting and the TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) conference being held June 12-13 in San Francisco will dive into where local TV is headed.

Business strategist Geoffrey Moore characterizes hypergrowth industries as facing the “inside the tornado” moment when paradigms shift ferociously with new players, infrastructure and one company positioning for leadership. These are ingredients we’re certainly seeing in the local TV market these days.  Are we in store for hypergrowth inside this tornado, and if so who’s growth – incumbents who are reinventing themselves or digital upstart challengers?

All this reinvention can create a very desirable outcome of making the local TV business more relevant, and compelling, to today’s video consumers and the marketers trying to reach them. With the secular shift of audiences and advertisers to fragmented and digital platforms, this is a must do for local video competitors. But the prize is not just holding on to what they have, for local TV and MVPDs the prize is revenue growth to be achieved by offering access to cross-platform audience networks that can be targeted via deep data profiles and transacted across automated platforms.

The TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) conference features two panels I’ll be moderating that will dig deep into the local TV marketplace and where it’s headed. The panels include media, buyers, and adtech companies all crucial to the reinvention process.

  • The Coming Storm of Advanced TV in Local Markets: What Will the Local TV Market Look Like in 2020, 2025 and 2030? Features Kathy Doyle, EVP Local Investment, MAGNA Global; Joy Baer, GM FreeWheel Advertisers; and Archie Gianunzio, VP Sales & Marketing, Videa. This panel examines various features generally comprising “advanced TV” including addressability, attribution, cross-platform, workflow automation and audience measurement.
  • Local TV Gone Wild: The Heresy and Beauty of OTT/CTV Rachel Williamson, president, Gamut (Cox) is joined by James Moore, CRO, Simpli.fi; Brian Wallach, CRO FreeWheel; and Adam Ware, GM, Sinclair Broadcast Group to share insights and directions on how local TV groups are expanding their points of presence from over-the-air and MVPD distribution to CTV/OTT as audience development and monetization platforms.

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