Jun 7, 2018

Comcast ads president: Industry must collaborate to save television

Credit: Sara FIscher, Axios Context: Comcast Advertising President Marcien Jenckes at Nielsen's annual Consumer 360 Summit in Washington DC

Comcast Advertising President Marcien Jenckes says all industry companies (in television, telecom and beyond) are "not working together enough" to unleash the power of TV.

Why it matters: Jenckes argues that the entire television industry, from streaming to legacy players, should be sharing better data insights to advance the industry as a whole and to keep up with consumer expectations.

"Everybody is afraid of being a schmuck, so sometimes the right thing doesn't happen."
— Jenckes

What he's saying: Jenckes says he's not afraid of getting fired for doing what he thinks is best for the entire industry, which often means sharing data insights with competitors.

  • Jenckes argues every company needs to commit to reimagining what the future of television looks like if the industry wants to survive the digital transformation happening across all media: "Don't you want to work together really hard to make sure TV recognizes its potential?" he said at Nielsen's annual Consumer 360 Conference in Washington DC.
  • Jenckes also thinks that telecom companies and TV networks need to do more to pivot their insights and advertising offerings towards data: "If you don't pivot to data, you're dead."

The backdrop: More and more households are adopting internet-connected streaming television devices, which are dependent on data-driven insights to offer consumers customizable experiences.

Expand chart
Reproduced from a Nielsen report; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: While 96% of U.S. homes have a television, other devices are slowly reaching ubiquity as well, according to Nielsen.

  • A majority of Americans now own a time-shifted television device, whether through a SVOD (subscription video on demand) or a DVD or DVR player. SVOD penetration has officially surpassed DVR penetration in the U.S.
  • Roughly two-thirds of U.S. homes have an internet-enabled connected device that's capable of streaming content to a television set, which includes enabled smart TVs, multimedia devices and video game consoles.

Go Deeper: How American TV consumption is changing, in one chart

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