Prepare for digital integration, ad:tech keynoter warns

SAN FRANCISCO – All media will be going digital in the next five years, said ad:tech keynote speaker Brian McAndrews, president/CEO of aQuantive.

In the keynote titled “The Digital Decade: What the Last Five Years Can Teach Us About the Next Five,” Lynne Johnson, a senior editor at, interviewed Mr. McAndrews yesterday about how past developments will influence the future of digital.

“I think we’ll be a lot closer to all digital in the next five years,” Mr. McAndrews said. “The market will be significantly larger, and it is our belief is that ultimately all media will become digital. The biggest medium of all, television, will become digital. The Internet is the beginning, but it is still one channel.”

“I think what will happen is we’ll take our learning from the Internet and repurpose that for other media, specifically in video-on-demand,” he said.

He said to expect more sophistication in dynamic ad insertion into video and more analytics measurement and fragmentation. In addition, the Web site will replace the 30-second commercial as the key brand-engagement tool in the next five years.

“Television will still be around but there will be more dynamic content and the Web site will be the main way to engage consumers,” Mr. McAndrews said. “Most messaging is aimed at driving people to the Web site.”

Also expect more on-demand technologies in the next five years.

“On-demand is important because consumers want it and they are demanding it, and the cable companies are responding to the consumer demand for control,” Mr. McAndrews said.

Currently the economic model is subscription based, but since consumers like free programming, marketers and cable companies are working on ways to develop more ways for dynamic marketing and ad insertion.

Viral should become the new broadcast as marketers and content providers focus on the integration of channels.

“When we think about integration, it has to be relevant to other channels of media,” Mr. McAndrews said. “If we think about online video, we have to think of its interactivity with television. If we think about mobile, we have to think of how it is interactive with online.”

This integration may take more work upfront, but it will give marketers more feedback in the end.

“Digital becomes increasingly the seat at the table where you are informed much better about how your consumer is going to interact,” Mr. McAndrews said.

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