0:00:01 – (Matt Widdoes): Welcome to another episode of Growth@Scale. I’m your host, Matt Widdoes, CEO of MAVAN.com. and today we are joined by Joe Delfino. We’re excited to have you on, Joe.

0:00:10 – (Joe Delfino): Thanks for having me. Yeah, I’m excited to do this. You have a great roster of folks that have come before me, and I’m delighted and honored that you consider me for this.

0:00:19 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, for sure. So, for those who don’t know, JoJo’s the VP of Identity and Cloud Partnerships at ComScore, and he spent his career leading sales and business development efforts at technology companies, largely in media. For those who don’t know you, Joe, maybe just tell us in your own words, who are you? Where have you been? What do you do?

0:00:38 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, so I’ve been in and around advertising, technology, and Technology in general for now over a decade, which, when I say that, it’s kind of hard for me to believe, but I grew up in the Boston area, and in 2013, the person actually, who I work for now at ComScore, in one of my first interviews with them, actually told me to just pack a bag and move to San Francisco.

0:01:03 – (Matt Widdoes): Okay.

0:01:04 – (Joe Delfino): And I actually did. I packed a bag, I moved to San Francisco. I skipped my college graduation, and the last week of May, I literally moved out to San Francisco. And I interviewed with this company 13 times. The company was called Fix. Ooh. And I really didn’t know what Fix who did. And I interviewed with Fix who. I interviewed with a bunch of other companies, too. Uber, Yelp, a handful of technology companies.

0:01:28 – (Joe Delfino): And I finally got a job at Fix who, and I started selling programmatic ads to gaming companies. And it’s funny when you look back on it, because you don’t know in 2013, you’re on the precipice of one of the most lucrative tech melt ups, if you will, in history. At the age of 22, I’m selling media to gaming companies, living in San Francisco, working in a super fast pace, inspiring, innovative environment, and got caught up in that for three and a half years before I moved to New York City. And so that’s how I got my. My start in this. And I haven’t really looked back since.

0:02:17 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, and so, yeah, so you mentioned you started in mobile programmatic, which is when we first crossed paths. And I was probably at Zynga at the time.

0:02:24 – (Joe Delfino): You were at Zynga? Yeah.

0:02:25 – (Matt Widdoes): And now you’re in traditional media, where it seems like the more common path is kind of in the other direction. Can you walk us through that?

0:02:33 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. So after Fix who, I took a year to build some apps and games with a couple friends, actually, a couple folks who had been customers of mine at fix, who. And we had some games, we had some apps, and that lasted about a year. And then we all just moved on to do other things. And I took, I don’t know, call it three, four months. And most of my days were consumed by just enjoying New York City, spending a lot of time in Bryant, Bryant Park, and trying to figure out, like, what am I going to do next?

0:03:07 – (Joe Delfino): The team that had worked with me and hired me at Fix, who had a role at Publishers Clearing House, and a lot of folks on here probably don’t even know what Publishers Clearing House is. PCH, yeah. A pretty well recognized and sizable media brand built in the 50’s. We’re talking the origin of Publishers Clearing House is direct mail. It is Ed McMahon who, funny enough, didn’t even work for PCH. Ed McMahon worked for another publisher and was such a good promotion for that publisher, he caused PCH to become more popular.

0:03:47 – (Matt Widdoes): Interesting.

0:03:48 – (Joe Delfino): That’s like a trick interview question of PCH. Did Ed McMahon work for us? If you ever, if you ever years did Ed McMahon, yeah, he never worked for us. Right. And so, you know, I was thinking to myself, PCH, Publishers Clearing House, like, what are they doing in Mobile? What are they doing in technology? What are they doing in media? And as you can imagine, they went from a business that cultivated, and this is going to be an important theme, I think, across the next hour. They cultivated an audience and they scaled an audience and they built that, first going door to door and selling magazines, and then building a direct to consumer, direct to your home, e-commerce or magazine sales list before it went online.

0:04:35 – (Joe Delfino): And then over the course of 40 years, you have a relatively highly engaged, very loyal and dedicated audience. And in the two thousands you have tech, you build a website in the early 2010s, you build an app, and you slowly migrate that audience from being used to getting something in the mail to going online to going into an app. And so when I joined Publishers Clearing House in 2017, they were working to build out an ad monetization strategy. And they, for the first time, had a direct sales team selling to gaming companies, and they were working to monetize a whole series of apps that they had as they were moving their audience from one that was used to getting something in the mail to maybe going to a website to now going to a set of PCH apps.

0:05:27 – (Joe Delfino): And so I went from being on the, you know, call it the cutting edge, right? Selling programmatic ads, being in gaming, to somebody who was certainly in gaming and a stalwart in it for years, but was, had a 50 year history and a very, very different growth trajectory than anybody that I had worked with in the past.

0:05:49 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And then you go from San Francisco, you were at PCH in San Francisco, and then you moved to New York.

0:05:55 – (Joe Delfino): Moved to New York, yep.

0:05:56 – (Matt Widdoes): And then you end up at ComScore, which is a bit different than that. Right. More on the TV side, right away from door to door and from, you know, physical mailing lists, to physical email lists to lists of people in app or in product to something a little bit different. And so walk us through that kind of jump where it’s kind of going kind of back up the chain a little bit. Certainly more broad in the traditional sense, but walk us through that and the opportunity you saw there.

0:06:26 – (Joe Delfino): Certainly. So besides the management team, which is a new management team, which I worked with in the past at Publishers Clearing House and fixture, I seem to follow the same people everywhere. ComScore has, I think you can make a very compelling argument. One of the most complete and exhaustive media measurement data sets in the ecosystem. And so it’s a company that has been around, it’s made acquisitions over the years, but it’s been around since the late nineties.

0:06:58 – (Joe Delfino): And its foundation is measuring content online. And over the years, it has brought in various new additions to what it measures and what it looks at. And so there’s a very robust digital content measurement business. There’s a very robust TV content measurement business that’s been layered in, and then there’s an entire advertising campaign related business that’s been brought in. And so it’s for somebody like myself, who has spent time in mobile and spent time on the sell side of mobile and the buy side of mobile ComScore was a way for me to get an even more complete picture of the ecosystem that we work in.

0:07:45 – (Joe Delfino): Because I had never been. I’d never been super close to, like, online digital, right? Like think like. Like I’d been very close to the Zynga’s and the Kings of the world, but I’d been less close to, like, what’s important to a VOX or AXIOS or a New York Times or a Buzzfeed, right? And I certainly hadn’t been anywhere near close to what’s important to a paramount.

0:08:08 – (Matt Widdoes): Right.

0:08:08 – (Joe Delfino): What’s important to a WBD. And so I’ve almost, in a lot of ways, I think it could be interpreted as going backwards. I sort of see it as continuing to get a complete lens going from mobile to where I am at ComScore now, because I’ve been able to listen to folks really across all mediums on both buy and sell side, the advertiser side, the publisher side, mobile Web TV. Right. And listen to them. And comscore is a nice amalgamation of all that.

0:08:43 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And I can see it as like just an unexplored area of the map. And also, I think doing it in that order, where you have this foundation that’s built on technology and you’re moving back up into the chain into something that more, has more traditionally been less technology driven and is now, and that is accelerating, that’s inverting on that side that that’s like a, it’s actually probably the perfect way to cross paths versus being like, okay, I’m going to get out of traditional screen kind of, you know, tv, linear tv as an example, or billboards, because digital is the new whiz bang thing that everyone’s going to care about. I’m going to jump ship and I’m going to go to a programmatic mobile company, and I’m like, what is all this? Wow, look at all this data versus having the different perspective and coming in and saying, okay, you don’t have all the same data.

0:09:30 – (Matt Widdoes): You have some measurements that are similar. You have other things that are really interesting and, like, knowing what you know, when you think about 1000 people who know what they know about digital, then applying that to the tv space, generally, that can have massive implications on the tech changes there and the advancements that can be made versus a tech or a TV, quote, TV company that never touches it again.

0:09:54 – (Joe Delfino): You know, you’re spot on. Right. One of the first meetings I had at Comscore, I think I was a few months in, was, was with a large, a large network, and the topic was age and gender. And, you know, I showed my, I played my new, you know, relatively new to the space. Right? You know, relatively new to, new to comps growing. I was like, age and gender. What are we talking about? Age and gender, right? And it was like, oh, like this is targeting.

0:10:20 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:10:20 – (Joe Delfino): And to your point, I was kind of like, wait, what? Because for a decade, I was used to near deterministic identifier that was attached to somebody at all times that could tell me so much more beyond age and gender. And there’s this whole world of publishers that are packaging and selling inventory and advertisers that are buying inventory that’s largely built on age and gender. Right. And to your point, now we’re seeing there’s almost an inversion and a convergence of that, that as we see declines in linear television and we see more consumer adoption of streaming, age and gender is not the only thing that people are bringing into the conversation as relates to targeting on TV.

0:11:12 – (Joe Delfino): And then at the same time on the, on the other side, we can deconstruct all of this digital mobile web, which for years has been associated with more precise targeting, better access to our audiences, better addressability in general. Signal loss and privacy concerns are actually eroding some of the targeting and data advantage that advertisers and publishers have historically associated with digital formats.

0:11:41 – (Joe Delfino): And so we’re almost seeing a reversion to the mean.

0:11:46 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:11:46 – (Joe Delfino): A balancing of the scale on both ends. And you’re seeing that play out in very interesting ways across all these screens, on both sides with advertisers and publishers. And the greatest part about being a ComScore is we have a front row seat to that.

0:12:06 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, well, and so talk us through that on that point of balancing. And we’re starting to also observe the budgets starting to shift and more people having a desire to balance their media mix and go back in some ways to more, what we would call generally traditional channels for growth, like lifecycle, or even the integration of TV or billboard or other things that give additional lift to some of the things that are more traditionally measurable.

0:12:34 – (Matt Widdoes): And you have a digital billboard, you have a bunch of things you look at radio and terrestrial versus satellite, et cetera. But let’s talk about, like, maybe just for our audience, can you explain what cross screen measurement is? And then particularly across Connected TV, linear TV, and, you know, its impact on data.

0:12:54 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. So we’re talking more and more about this and we’re hearing more and more about this. And I don’t necessarily think at this juncture there’s a settle, there’s a settled science, there’s a settled methodology behind what we’re talking about. But from a publisher standpoint and an advertiser standpoint, we’re having more and more conversations about, I am less concerned about finding my audience on a mobile phone or on TV and more about just where is my audience, right.

0:13:25 – (Joe Delfino): And if I’m an advertiser, how do I measure, if I am reaching that audience, whether it’s on linear television, whether it’s on a connected TV, whether it’s in a mobile app, whether it’s on a mobile website or on a website? And so a lot of the work that we do and a lot of what we think about is how do we help advertisers measure the efficacy of a campaign across a screen. So, and then on the flip side, there are publishers that are doing this, and I think networks are really at the leading edge of this.

0:14:04 – (Joe Delfino): Perhaps surprisingly, but also not surprisingly, given that they have audience across every medium where they’re saying, hey, I have an audience that historically may have been associated with, I don’t know, watching South Park at 10:00 p.m. on a Wednesday. Right. And if I’m a network and I have that audience, how do I sell that? Right. I sell that by packaging that and saying to an advertiser, hey, this is the audience you want. They’re at 10:00 p.m. on a Saturday or 10:00 p.m. on a Wednesday, and they’re watching South Park.

0:14:37 – (Joe Delfino): Right. But now publishers have the ability to take that audience and say, hey, I know that this audience isn’t just watching South Park at 10:00 p.m. on a Wednesday, but they also might be on this website, or they might also be watching the streaming version of this at 2:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. And so you have a powerful alignment in the ascent in the incentives on both sides. Advertisers want to reach, and this becomes really important.

0:15:06 – (Joe Delfino): Reach. We’ll talk a lot about reach here. They want to reach that audience. Publishers want to sell it.

0:15:11 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:15:12 – (Joe Delfino): And so there’s incentives on both sides for them to come to the determination that the best way for me to reach this audience at scale is to do it from a cross screen standpoint and measure it from a cross screen standpoint.

0:15:26 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And if they can, and if they can bundle that into something where they say, hey, look, we have this kind of general thing where it’s to that example you gave with South Park a second ago, but we bundle it three different locations with Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Rick and Morty and something else that we think that we see statistically has clear overlap. And we also know that they all frequent Reddit and this other or whatever, like, you, you know, pick what you control.

0:15:52 – (Matt Widdoes): It’s very similar in some ways, in my mind, to kind of like, again, back into media. But you think about, like, Disney and their relationship with ABC and their relationship with ESPN and, like, having that cohesive. I mean, they talked a lot about synergy back in the late nineties and things like that. Yeah, but it’s like, okay, well, we have these audiences everywhere. We have multiple channels to serve them.

0:16:12 – (Matt Widdoes): And, yeah, it makes sense that the publishers or the networks are incentivized to try to find either new products or ways to package that because you have this, like that one. Let’s take Judge Judy as an example. Maybe Judge Judy isn’t really helpful in and of itself. Nobody wants to buy it. I’m sure people do, but nobody wants to buy it.

0:16:32 – (Joe Delfino): People definitely want to buy.

0:16:33 – (Matt Widdoes): People definitely want to buy. Just, yeah, maybe I should take something else. But whatever. You take something where it’s like people want to buy everything. Right. But it’s maybe more interesting as part of a bundle where that gives some network effect, it gives some other things where it’s amplifying something that’s already being done on a traditionally, like on a media, digital media owned property, and that’s just supporting it, but it’s done in a way that is intentional and cohesive and trackable. So you say, like, when we do this directly on website X, it does worse than when we bundle that and expose that same audience to the same ad in these other things, including Judge Judy and, or something else, and just make it easier for people to buy because the net outcome is revenue and profitability. And so it’s like, okay, well, like, don’t make me do all the thinking as the buyer and you, the seller, you know, may have to get creative on how you position these things for us to test. And that ultimately, if working, we’re going to buy more of it and you’re going to know because we keep willing to bid out the next best bid, you know, next to us.

0:17:34 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. And you’re hitting on something that’s very important in this mindset, which is, which is optimized reach.

0:17:40 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:17:41 – (Joe Delfino): If I can reach my audience and have the biggest effect on my underlying business, buying Judge Judy at 04:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. Great. Show me that. Judge Judy does that. Show me that linear tv does that for me. At the same time, if it’s in a streaming app on the web, great, like, I’ll do that too. Right. Show me where I can find my audience, where I can reach them, and advertisers and publishers can optimize accordingly.

0:18:14 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, go ahead.

0:18:16 – (Joe Delfino): No. And so this is becoming more and more of a conversation, certainly in the context of linear tv and streaming and the advantages that streaming somebody connected tvs give advertisers. And I think a lot of folks, specifically on the performance side, have started to look at TV because of connected TV and because of streaming and the perceived data advantages that might come from it. At the same time, linear is a real important way to reach people and reach at scale on linear is very efficient and very important when layered in to a cross screen media plan for advertisers and publishers.

0:18:56 – (Matt Widdoes): So maybe let’s unpack that a little bit more. If we look at, like, in a, not necessarily in a vacuum, but when we look at Linear, CTV and streaming, like, let’s talk through the advantages and disadvantages of all three. And, like, maybe even kind of the difference between Streaming and CTV because I think a lot of people maybe lump those in. How would you think through that for somebody trying to build out a plan? Let’s say they have gone, you’ve got somebody who’s successfully spending a lot of money on Facebook and Google. Let’s say a lot of money being at least a million a month or something like that.

0:19:28 – (Matt Widdoes): Like, they’re at scale. Like, it’s not, they’re not kind of toe in the water. Yeah. One to, I mean, 30 million a month for whatever that’s worth. But, like, and maybe that’s a different question. By the way, you have somebody who’s spending 30 million a month and they’re like, yeah, we’re doing 50 a year in TV, but, like, it’s like, this small. It’s like one 10th of our digital budget or something like that.

0:19:47 – (Matt Widdoes): But how do you think about that? And, like, where would, where should somebody on the lower end kind of, if they want to get a taste for it, where would they start? And then, like, when would you start layering in traditional linear, is it at a certain budget or a certain scale or is it for only for certain products and types of things? Like, how do you think about that generally?

0:20:05 – (Joe Delfino): Well, it might be best to start with understanding what each medium is because to your point, there are, there are some differences there. So, like, if we’re thinking about traditional linear television, traditional linear television is mostly built, bought and sold on Nielsen ratings, a lot of it. There were just this week in New York City, the upfronts, much of it is sold upfront even before the fact.

0:20:28 – (Joe Delfino): And it’s primarily sold on aggregated projections. So there’s projection methodologies. Nielsen comscore video amp I spot handful of folks where they take tunes and they, there’s a bunch of math and methodologies, and there’s demographics laid in, and you get an aggregated reach number and an aggregated rating number. And you step up and you work with a network and they price and package the inventory based on the rating and reach of the ad spot that you’re buying. Right.

0:21:02 – (Joe Delfino): That is traditional linear television. And often what’s been really important in buying linear tv is when and where you’re buying it and particularly what piece of content is it associated with. And so historically, and this is changing a little bit, again, going back to the audience, mostly interested in my audience, I’m less interested in if it’s South Park or Judge Judy, but where my audience is. But speaking historically, folks, when they’re buying linear TV, especially in the days of appointment viewing, right. They’re buying lost at 08:00 p.m. on a Wednesday.

0:21:35 – (Joe Delfino): Right. Why are they buying loss at AP & M on a Wednesday? Well, Nielsen tells me, you know, the audience skews, you know, females, 35 plus. Why am I buying wwe, you know, Smackdown on USA? Well, the, you know, Nielsen tells me it’s, you know, 25 plus guys. Right.

0:21:51 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:21:51 – (Joe Delfino): That’s generally how folks have thought about linear and how they’ve bought linear television. Streaming and CTV are a little bit different. But to your point, there are some nuances in there. So a platform like Hulu, right, when somebody take it from a consumer standpoint for a second, somebody logs into Hulu or YouTube and maybe they elect to watch live sports or they watch like today, I had CNBC piping through Hulu.

0:22:22 – (Joe Delfino): That’s just a broadcast ad load case of CNBC. NBCU has sold that inventory, right? They might have sold it through a self-serve platform. They might have sold some of it, you know, sort of old school through, through a phone. But even though I am watching it through Hulu, that is a traditional broadcast ad load. And this is where I think there might be some folks that like, these are nuances that are important because you saw this during the NFL playoffs when Peacock made a big deal about streaming an NFL game. And really what was going on. If you logged into your Peacock app, all they were doing was piping the local broadcast of that through the Peacock app.

0:23:05 – (Joe Delfino): And so to buy that inventory, you were essentially buying linear table, like a value add.

0:23:11 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, yeah. You couldn’t exactly sold. You’re just streaming it. Yeah.

0:23:15 – (Joe Delfino): Sold elsewhere. The broadcast is being streamed.

0:23:18 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:23:18 – (Joe Delfino): Right. As strange as that sounds.

0:23:21 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, and it was probably sold in as that, too, which is, hey, hey, we’re going to be streaming this, too. So not only do you get all the linear stuff, but you’re going to pick up views on, on the streaming side.

0:23:28 – (Joe Delfino): Precisely. Yeah, exactly. And that’s the same case with if, like you open Max now and you have the TNT broadcast of the NBA playoffs. Same thing. It’s linear. It’s linear ads, they’re sold elsewhere. And the value add is, hey, it’s also streaming through Max. Now, you’ll pick up that audience as well. And there’s all sorts of data and analytics. They’ll probably tell you that’s a younger audience and, you know, they’re more urban and what, and whatnot.

0:23:52 – (Matt Widdoes): Yep.

0:23:53 – (Joe Delfino): Traditional streaming television is a mix of a few, a few things. Now, some of it’s bought and sold directly. Right? So if you’re in Hulu and you’re watching house hunters for, I don’t know, the 700th time because you love House Hunters, there’s a good chance that the ads that you’re seeing as you’re on your 6th House Hunters episode of the evening, those, those might be sold programmatically there, you know, handful of them will likely be sold direct by Hulu. And a lot of that, and this is one thing that I’ve learned a lot about in the last year, year and a half. Now, a lot of that comes down to rights.

0:24:29 – (Joe Delfino): So the rights that Hulu negotiates with WBD or another network or the content provider to be able to sell ads during a particular show, okay, that’s really important. And it probably doesn’t get talked about enough. But some shows will have more ad load. Some shows will have less ad load. And a lot of that, whether it’s in Macs or whether it’s streaming in Peacock or Hulu, a lot of that inventory is going to be bought and sold directly or programmatically. You certainly see it on YouTube. Now, there’s a lot of ads on YouTube that’s DV 360.

0:25:07 – (Joe Delfino): And so there’s certainly a fragmentation there. But it’s important to think about it from a consumer experience standpoint, almost as an advertiser, where I end up, am I in a traditional linear broadcast or am I truly buying inventory that is sold for a streaming only audience?

0:25:29 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And I’ve seen a number of YouTube ads, not YouTube TV, but YouTube ads that are local, that are clearly targeted to me based on location. And I sometimes also wonder, like, how much are they pulling on demo and just other things outside of age. But, like, do they know it? They know what I’m watching or they know how frequently I do it, they know the time that I’m doing it. Right. So it’s like, because they’re not controlling that, right. I could be watching anything at any hour on YouTube technically. Right?

0:25:59 – (Matt Widdoes): And so it’s always really interesting. I get this one adapter that is like, I need to record it because it is so funny. But it’s this, like really bad local ad. And I don’t think he’s trying to be bad, but it is like, it’s almost like it’s actually the lowest quality ad I’ve ever seen on a television.

0:26:14 – (Joe Delfino): That’s saying something because there’s a bit of bad.

0:26:17 – (Matt Widdoes): Yes. And this is, this is going back to the eighties, right? So it’s like, even then, it’s like, I mean, he’s got, like, a really. It basically is an ad. It looks like it’s recorded off of his computer. Like, that’s where he captured the videos from, like, this video. And it’s got a really hot, bright light. And he is a super sweaty guy. And he’s a lawyer, he’s selling legal services. And, like, he looks like the kind of person that if you were in court, the judge would likely mistake him for the defendant and you for the lawyer kind of thing. You’re like, no, no, no, he’s the lawyer. Like, oh, I thought he was the guilty guy.

0:26:48 – (Matt Widdoes): And so. And he’s a criminal defense lawyer, so. Which is even funnier. And so maybe this creative probably appeals.

0:26:55 – (Joe Delfino): To his target audience. He probably knows something. He’s done some analytics on this. When he’s under the bright lights, sweating, looking disgusting, this is. He’s hitting his audience.

0:27:03 – (Matt Widdoes): And it’s like, it would be an SNL, like, parody. I mean, it’s that, it’s that level and. Which is like, I don’t think he’s that. I don’t think that’s what he’s doing. But I do wonder, like, how much does that placement cost? I’ve seen it enough that I can almost guarantee if I just go watch YouTube after 10:00 I’ll get the ad after, you know, a couple of hours. So anyways. But I know he’s not buying that en masse. I know he’s not.

0:27:27 – (Matt Widdoes): There’s no chance that guy’s running twenty five k a month or, you know, fifty k a month in ads.

0:27:31 – (Joe Delfino): I would think maybe you’re making a very important statement here, which is, this is another thing at ComScore, we talk a lot about. We have a lot of data on this. The importance of local.

0:27:43 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:27:43 – (Joe Delfino): And how important local advertisers and local media is. Again, coming from gaming. Right? Coming from. I’m going to buy Facebook or Instagram.

0:27:57 – (Matt Widdoes): In-app ads.

0:27:58 – (Joe Delfino): In-app ads. Because they’re all showing on mobile, mobile ads. You wouldn’t think if somebody told me ten years ago, hey, in ten years, you’re going to be talking about the importance of local ads on tv, I would have probably laughed it off, but the power of local advertising and local media is real. So, you know, last month, I was at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

0:28:27 – (Matt Widdoes): I’ve heard it’s very old school. It’s very, like, lots of gray suits.

0:28:31 – (Joe Delfino): Lots of gray suits. I probably brought the average age down by, you know, a good 20 years, showed up in chinos, you know, nice loafers. Definitely had a different, different vibe than the vast majority of the room. Right. But this is, this is really, this is important. There’s life and innovation and energy at those conferences and at that conference in particular, because exactly what we’re talking about.

0:28:57 – (Joe Delfino): Local broadcasters have realized that they have an advantage, and that advantage is they speak to their local communities. They know their local communities, and they have real connections with local advertisers. And so that local lawyer that’s buying YouTube, he’s probably also buying whatever his local. Whatever your local.

0:29:18 – (Matt Widdoes): You’re in some local linear.

0:29:20 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, some local linear. And that local linear station is now also realizing, because a lot of them are realizing this. I have an audience on YouTube.

0:29:31 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:29:31 – (Joe Delfino): I have an audience on my website. I have an audience in my app. That is a great opportunity for me to do something that I’ve probably never done before and sell meaningful impressions outside of linear. And I can give that lawyer the ability to buy on linear, to buy an app and buy on a premium display on a webpage. And so there’s innovate and digital billboard. Yeah, and quite possibly digital billboard. And the other reason for this was on a panel where we talked about this with a local station group running about two dozen local stations out of Detroit.

0:30:15 – (Joe Delfino): The content that local broadcasters deliver is increasingly seen as important and more important because people want to know what’s going on in their local communities. They want decent weather, and they want to know, like, what’s going on down the street for me tomorrow. And so folks are coming back to local, and in many cases, local stations are surprised when they work with folks like ComScore and others, how their audience actually isn’t as old and 65 plus as maybe they thought it was.

0:30:51 – (Joe Delfino): And there’s folks that find value in going to their local station for weather reports on their connected tv. There’s folks that are younger with the apps on their phone. And so there’s kind of a renaissance and a resurgence in local. And if I had to make any prognostications on this podcast, I’ll refrain from doing it. But one of them would be big local broadcasters, the Nexstars, the Sinclairs, the Tegnas of the world, they’re actually in a very good position because they have dedicated audiences, they have local advertisers, they have important, increasingly important and meaningful content. And I do think from a consumer’s perspective, we’re on a little bit, we might be on the other side of the spectrum when it comes to, I don’t want to say mindless but short form content that is just distracting.

0:31:39 – (Joe Delfino): Right. Like folks might be swinging back to, I want to know what’s going on in my community. I want decent weather and a weather experience where I don’t get served 5000 ads and can’t sift, you know, I can’t get to my radar without X-ing out three banners and accidentally clicking on one.

0:31:57 – (Matt Widdoes): Right.

0:31:57 – (Joe Delfino): Like there’s a reason why before I go for a bike ride tomorrow morning, I’m going to watch the local news at eleven because I’m going to get the weather straight. It’s going to take two minutes. It’s going to be super accurate.

0:32:06 – (Matt Widdoes): Right.

0:32:07 – (Joe Delfino): And so I just think some of the local broadcasters with the audiences that they own and the importance of their content are probably in pretty good positions.

0:32:15 – (Matt Widdoes): And can you talk a little bit about the difference between national ads running locally and locally sold ads running locally?

0:32:22 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. Oh, that’s a good, that’s, that’s a, that’s a really good question. So your lawyer is definitely a local ad that is bought it locally. Yeah. So, so when you’re, you’re buying a big national campaign, you can measure that in a few ways. You can measure it in aggregate nationally. Right? Hey, I have the old United States or I have a region of the United States. How many folks does this reach? What’s, you know, what’s the rating of this ad?

0:32:44 – (Joe Delfino): And then you can start to boil that down to there’s 200 local markets and 200 plus local markets in the United States. So you might have a pizza hut ad that runs in Detroit that is sold at the national level. So the network group at a national level will sell that Pizza Hut ad. It’ll run in local markets all across the country. There’s a subset of inventory is sold locally by networks and station groups.

0:33:12 – (Joe Delfino): And that’s, again, that is very important inventory. That is your car dealerships, that is your sweaty lawyers who are sitting under a light at their table. That is a local restaurant. Right. They are fundamentally important to the media equation because they’re trying to drive a very, very local outcome. And it is very, and you’ve seen this on Facebook and Google right. What drives a considerable portion of the local ads?

0:33:42 – (Joe Delfino): Local is very important. Trying to drive people to a local outcome, into a store, into a service, making somebody aware of something nearby that’s important and it’s valuable.

0:33:53 – (Matt Widdoes): Are those local spots typically cheaper than the equivalent spot on a national, or do they kind of back out the same? You’re just buying one unit versus 200 units, essentially.

0:34:04 – (Joe Delfino): That’s a great question. So we’ve done some analysis on this. You’re essentially asking what’s, what’s. What’s the GRP? And the way the weighted gross rating of my ad in Los Angeles versus Wichita versus Detroit. Right.

0:34:19 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, that, and, like, if I’m. Okay, let’s take a sweaty lawyer as an example. And granted, not all markets are created equal, so New York City is going to be a more expensive local ad than probably Oklahoma City if I’m. Or Nebraska or Omaha, for that matter. No offense to the middle of the country. So, you know, is there, like, a. Essentially a price per the unit? And granted, everything depends on if they sold it. And I don’t know, if, like, if they haven’t sold any of their local, do they end up just running national through that because they already had it, or, like, what? Or they. They backfill with, like, a station ad where they’re like, hey, check out channel five news.

0:34:51 – (Matt Widdoes): You’re the leader in news coming back to the news.

0:34:54 – (Joe Delfino): Exactly. So, like, a lot of times, they’ll, they’ll backfill at NaB. There was actually, there were a couple technology showcases. There was actually examples of stations and broadcasters doing this in Asia where folks were actually building SDKs for set top boxes, digital set top boxes. And that was a way to insert.

0:35:16 – (Matt Widdoes): Ads programmatically when a, when there wasn’t a fill.

0:35:22 – (Joe Delfino): Precisely. Right. So they actually gave an example of the ad stack where you had a nationally sold or, you know, you had an ad that was yet blocked off, and then there was another one of those. And then there, where there was supposed to be a gap before the show started. They were actually able to insert a. Yeah, they were actually, was actually 15 seconds, but then there were examples that they had where, yeah, I needed to fill 3 seconds or I needed to fill 5 seconds, and so I have an ad that I can.

0:35:55 – (Matt Widdoes): And then, like.

0:35:56 – (Joe Delfino): Exactly. And then, and then we’re back to the show. Right. And so I don’t know, like, if that is going to happen here, partially because of the way linear tv has been historically bought and sold through intermediaries. And there’s a case to disintermediate a lot of the operational aspect of buying tv. It’s something that’s probably going to be very hard to do. And then there’s also just the reality of like, what’s your hardware point?

0:36:27 – (Joe Delfino): And so, you know, this particular piece of technology was installing SDKs on the actual set top box that is in someone’s home if they have cable television. But who knows if that’s something that is sustainable in the, in the, in the long run.

0:36:42 – (Matt Widdoes): So if somebody, let’s take, let’s take the sweaty lawyer guy and try to back into what he’s doing. So he’s got, he wants to run some, maybe is spending twenty five k. I don’t know. But like, let’s say he wants to run, he’s gonna run on like all four local channels, one spot a night, every night. Can you, can he buy it by the month? Is he, can he buy it by the spot? Like how is it even priced? Like how is it bundled?

0:37:06 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. So he, what he’s, he’s probably doing is if he’s going, if he, let’s, let’s hypothetically say he’s working with, I don’t know, WKT, Channel 5. Channel five. Right. They’re probably selling a spot based on the rating of that spot.

0:37:21 – (Matt Widdoes): Okay.

0:37:22 – (Joe Delfino): And then they might be adding in some digital. Right. Like they’re there very well might be a cross media plan that the network is, is giving him. And in that case, what’s going to happen is he’ll buy the spot, the local broadcaster will get the rating of that spot and essentially need to know, do I need to fill a make good or not? Because I sold this spot for x and the lawyer bought it thinking that from a planning perspective, it was going to reach 25,000 people and have a rating of, oh, and then we looked.

0:38:03 – (Matt Widdoes): At ratings of that spot that it underperformed. And so we under, again, he’s just, he’s buying on reach, so he can’t guarantee that he’s going to see his spot at twelve or four in the morning.

0:38:15 – (Joe Delfino): He could probably get pretty close. Right. Because the network or the station group in this, in this case is probably going to sell by day part, rating by a day part. Right. Like they’re probably going to say, do you want to buy fringe? Do you want to buy early prime? Do you want to buy prime? Do you want to buy late fringe? Do you want to buy late night? Right. And so he’ll have an idea of where that spot is likely going to land.

0:38:39 – (Matt Widdoes): If you wanted to buy like one. I just want one spot to run. It’s like a joke ad. Like, you even buy one?

0:38:47 – (Joe Delfino): Sure. You can go to a local station group, they’ll sell. They’ll sell you one ad, they’ll sell you whatever.

0:38:53 – (Matt Widdoes): Is that $100? Is that a thousand?

0:38:55 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. An afternoon or bucks, like, you know, an afternoon. Yeah. Call it a $100. Right, an afternoon.

0:39:00 – (Matt Widdoes): You could do that. I’m having a garage sale, come out to my garage sale. It’s this weekend. You could technically do that.

0:39:07 – (Joe Delfino): Technically, right. Like, your call will get answered by somebody in the station group.

0:39:15 – (Matt Widdoes): Okay, interesting.

0:39:16 – (Joe Delfino): They’re probably going to be one enthusiast to have your call, and then two as an advertiser. You’re probably going to be surprised by what you find.

0:39:26 – (Matt Widdoes): Your tv ad.

0:39:27 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, we had a really interesting use case. There was a local station in Minnesota, in the Dakotas, and they were packaging hockey and hockey related content, and they had great success taking hockey and hockey related content on linear and digital and selling it locally to advertisers to the point where they lost their RSN. A lot of regional sports networks are having trouble right now, and so this local station group took over broadcasting sports in this particular area.

0:40:02 – (Joe Delfino): And the success was based on their ability to price and package and market and find advertisers based on who was watching that inventory. And so you might laugh about, like, oh, if I called my local station group, you never actually know what you’re going to find there. Like, there very well might be a great opportunity for an advertiser to find their audience in a place that they never would have looked before local television and do a cross platform.

0:40:31 – (Matt Widdoes): And I think that, I don’t know, like, hearing that you can buy one ad. I mean, I’m curious. Like, I certainly do. I think others probably have it in their mind that, you know, tv is reserved only for those with massive budgets. We’ve just cleared that up. You could run a $100 ad on Channel 5 somewhere for your local pickleball tournament that you’re putting on. But, like, what, outside of some extreme case, I get, what size of annual media spend should advertisers start kind of considering tv related channels? And is that even the right measurement? Is it like, once you’ve got, you know, and again, local is not for everybody, and so, but I might want to run nationally with select things on, you know, select filters on streaming or something where I say, okay, if somebody’s watching XYZ, I think I would be highly relevant to them.

0:41:18 – (Matt Widdoes): I want to run a five K test. I want to run a 15K test? Because I run 5k-15K tests on Facebook and Google anyways. And I. Maybe if there’s something here, like, where do you kind of, what measurement would, should somebody be using as, like, the yardstick to ask themselves, like, is Linear or CTV or Streaming worthy of a test in my company right now? Like, how should somebody go about determining that?

0:41:42 – (Joe Delfino): I think there’s a lot of ways you could probably answer that. So it’s somebody ready. Like, I don’t necessarily think it’s about the money. Right. Because we’ve just clarified that.

0:41:51 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, you don’t need a big budget.

0:41:52 – (Joe Delfino): You don’t need. You don’t need a big budget, but.

0:41:54 – (Matt Widdoes): You want to have enough signal, too. Right? You don’t want to run. I spend 200, $300 running people to my thing, and I don’t know if anybody came to my thing because of that. Right. Or maybe I asked, did you see our TV ad? And everyone’s like, what are you talking about?

0:42:05 – (Joe Delfino): But, but, but you’re. You’re hitting on kind of where I’m going with, which is, like, is an advertiser ready to accept that their ad that they run on tv is something that is not as attributable or addressable as what they’re certainly running on Facebook or on Google or…

0:42:27 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, through tracking is pretty exactly where.

0:42:30 – (Joe Delfino): Tracking is pervasive, and it’s, you know, relatively accurate. There’s obviously some inconsistencies and.

0:42:37 – (Matt Widdoes): But we could run somebody, if nothing else, we could run that ad to a specific page where you could never end up there by magic. You would have to have, like, guessed some gigantic string.

0:42:46 – (Joe Delfino): Precisely. And so, like, are, like, as an advertiser, you’re ready to accept the fact that you’re going to buy media in a world that still is mainly buying media on age and gender. And there’s obviously other demographic characteristics that somebody can buy against. But look, the vast majority of linear tv ads, it’s going to be the age and gender. The targeting is not nearly going to be as precise as the targeting that you might be used to, but you have to think about it as a reach exercise.

0:43:18 – (Joe Delfino): Linear TV is still, from a dollar standpoint, most efficient way to reach folks at scale.

0:43:26 – (Matt Widdoes): Just on a CPM.

0:43:27 – (Joe Delfino): Just on a CPM. Exactly. Precisely. On a CPM basis. Right. When you back out the cost of a spot versus the projected reach. Right. On a CPM basis, it is a lot less than CTV or mobile, programmatic or premium display.

0:43:43 – (Matt Widdoes): But that also likely speaks to play devil’s advocate. That also likely speaks to its efficacy because, like, its value, its price lower. Because its value is likely low. Right. At least attributable. Value.

0:43:53 – (Joe Delfino): It’s attributable. Sure. It’s attributable. Value is. Value is lower. And this is where I think streaming and some of what we’ve started to see with creative becomes really, really, really important if we think about it for a minute. To your point, a television ad, right. It’s less attributable. The fact that you get this tremendous reach, but on a CPM basis, it costs less likely speaks to its efficacy.

0:44:20 – (Joe Delfino): Let’s think about why historically folks have bought TV, right? Maybe not your lawyer out in California, but historically TV has been. This is going to be a production. I’m going to make a TV ad. It’s been driven by the type of advertising that, frankly, you and I didn’t grow up in, which is Madison Avenue ad agencies branding. I want to make a tv ad or make a billboard where I want. I want somebody to feel something in their brain, right? Like, I want, I want, yeah, buy more chicken or eat more chicken, right?

0:44:57 – (Joe Delfino): Or like, wow, that Wagoneer from Lincoln is really huge and cool and like, I probably would feel rich in that.

0:45:05 – (Matt Widdoes): Like you’re trying to get somebody to some emotional response.

0:45:09 – (Joe Delfino): Exactly. You’re trying to get somebody to feel something, think something, and then they’re not going to go out and buy a car that minute. They’re not going to go buy Chick-fil-a that minute, right. But like, they get it in their head, right? Or, you know, they see the sandals resort or, you know, the, the Hyatt collection and it’s like, oh, that looks pretty cool. And like, you know, maybe two, three months down the line, when you’re thinking about your vacation, you stay to hire, you stay to sandals, or in two years, you buy a car. Right. And there are some ways where you can attribute car ads to car purchases, right? Like, that’s not out of the question.

0:45:45 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And those things are often in support of more doctor activities, right. Where they’re like, oh, okay. Like, I’ve seen this ad. We’ve seen it. Where you run, you run supporting tv ads against a market where you’re running digital. You’d have a comp for that. Where you don’t run the tv and you see Lyft. Like, precisely. People are more likely to click. They’re like, oh, I keep getting ads for that. You see organic lift. You see people like, oh, okay. I’m like, now I’m in front of my TV seeing this ad. I didn’t click on the link earlier because I was busy and I was trying to see the news, and I was just closing out that window.

0:46:15 – (Matt Widdoes): But that reminds me, I did want to look at the new Wagoneer, and they go organically to the site so it’s measurable, and you can look at these Lyft studies and stuff like that. And it’s not true for every single product, every single time, every single market. But yes, it’s usually in support. And like you said, it’s not meant to be a. Now I’m driving to Chick fil a. And even if it was, you would have no way to tell that somebody drove to Chick fil a because of the. Unless you put a coupon code or something. But, yeah, coupon codes you can do.

0:46:40 – (Joe Delfino): You know, if they have the Chick-fil-a app and it’s geofenced, like.

0:46:43 – (Matt Widdoes): You saw this ad and get $5 off, like, whatever.

0:46:47 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, yeah, totally, totally. And to your point, like, there’s a little bit of a virtuous cycle there that, you know, TV ads contribute to, you know, the organic and the lift of something over time and the efficacy of those digital campaigns. And that’s very. Go ahead, go ahead.

0:47:05 – (Matt Widdoes): I was just gonna say. And in some ways, the trust, too, right? So you’re like, hey, this guy must be good. He’s got TV ads, like the local lawyer. Like, this other guy doesn’t have TV ads. Legitimacy to it.

0:47:16 – (Joe Delfino): Totally. Yeah, there’s legitimacy. There’s. There’s like a barrier to entry, right? You have to. In the case of this guy, it sounds like. Like he might have just pressed play on his computer, but there’s a barrier to entry, right? There’s. There’s an air of legitimacy, but that is diametrically opposed, right, to the ad product world that I grew up in and you grew up in, which is like, pay the toll to cross the bridge, right? Like, pay Facebook, pay Google.

0:47:43 – (Joe Delfino): They have a lot of data. They know where your audience is. I mean, that. That’s one of the arguments for the proof proliferation of all those D to C brands, right? In the. In the. In the mid tens. In ‘13,’ 14, ‘15, Facebook and Google were so effective at knowing who would buy the $80 toothbrush. They gave the companies making an $80 toothbrush a false sense of confidence and, you know, probably made them think their market was actually bigger than it is because they were so effective, all of them finding those people off the bat.

0:48:12 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah.

0:48:12 – (Joe Delfino): Right. It is a totally, totally different, you know, pay, you know, pay Facebook, $10 to find the person that will buy the $80 toothbrush. Right. We know everybody who will buy that. It’s a very, very different ad product that lay in layers, in precise targeting at the right time, that isn’t as dependent on creative and isn’t. It’s dependent on, you know, making somebody think and feel something, but, you know, getting in front of somebody and it’s like, oh, I actually need that $80 toothpaste brush. Right. And, like, directly causing that outcome right then and there. And so it’s two different worlds in that sense. But I think that is important in speaking to how we’re starting to see creative evolve on television and how you’re starting to see some of the elements of Doctor bleed into television. Particularly, you know, Netflix has been really creative in building ad units that are meant to facilitate a response when somebody is watching. Right.

0:49:10 – (Joe Delfino): There’s QR codes, there’s trackable things in the ad on the screen that will give an advertiser an idea of the direct impact of that ad. On Netflix the other night, there was a really good example watching an NBA playoff game where the timeout was sponsored by a mobile phone provider. There was actually a QR code on the screen, so I was still watching the game, but it was this, you know, overlaid. Exactly. Was this time out as sponsored by so and so and so?

0:49:42 – (Joe Delfino): Again, coming kind of full circle here, reversion to the mean. There’s, from a creative standpoint, you’re seeing that on tv, where ad units are being adapted because there are more and more performance focused advertisers that want to buy tv. And a great way to do that is get folks comfortable with a creative and an ad unit that does allow for a little bit more attribution and a little bit more tracking than just a traditional ad.

0:50:08 – (Matt Widdoes): So, funny enough, I’m very close with the guy who leads that entire division at Netflix.

0:50:14 – (Joe Delfino): He’s doing a great job, and he.

0:50:15 – (Matt Widdoes): Has a deep background in Doctor, so it’s not a surprise. I’m going to have to call him after this and tell him that we had this moment here today. But on that point, on the creative side, how should companies be thinking about creative on these channels versus what they run on digital? And, like, can certain formats be used on both, or should they be taking channel specific approaches? Like, you know, again, I think with the premise that people also maybe think they need to spend a quarter million on ad production, obviously, our local lawyer doesn’t.

0:50:42 – (Matt Widdoes): But, like, can they just create a really great. Can they reuse the stuff they’re running, you know, resize the stuff that they’re already running, 30 second spots or 15 second spots on Facebook with or do, or in your opinion, do you see that actually they need to take, like, a more channel specific strategy?

0:50:58 – (Joe Delfino): I think it probably depends on the. Depends on the advertiser. And so, like, that’s where TV for a creative can be a lot of fun. Right. With, you know, Netflix for an example. Right? Like, I think it’s great that it makes total sense that, you know, the person doing that. Right. Like, they’re building ad experiences into particular shows. They’re building particular units for particular shows. And so that is a great spray and pray. Yeah, exactly. That is a great example of creative ad innovation on a screen that blends.

0:51:32 – (Matt Widdoes): In those two worlds of traditional and doctor and.

0:51:34 – (Joe Delfino): Precisely. That hasn’t had creative ad innovation in a. In a long time.

0:51:39 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, and they got to take an approach that was, like, from the ground up that it’s just like, okay, we’ve never had ads. How would you build it today? And this, I think, I want to say it started last year, basically, it was around this time, or a little bit before this time last year when. When they really started breaking ground.

0:51:53 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah. And imitation is the highest form of flattery. And so whoever, whoever this is, like, this is bleeding out, right? You’re seeing it. Like I said, I saw this on Max when I was watching the basketball game the other night. You’re starting to see it. I saw it on Peacock as well. Right? Like, you’re. You’re getting more ad units that look less and less like the traditional. I’m just going to run a Linear TV ad. Right. They might have a QR code. They might. Like. I think folks are going to want to actually buy ad units where the content is still on the screen, because what happens a lot of times when an ad comes on, sure.

0:52:31 – (Joe Delfino): I go like this, and so attention is really important, and if my show or my game is still on the screen, and, hey, it’s like, like, I remember it was Cricket Wireless was sponsoring. Like, I remember it. Why do I remember it? Well, the game was still on and cricket wireless was in my face. Right. I can’t remember any of the ads that ran around it because I was on my phone when they were running, but I can remember the fact that they sponsored the timeout.

0:53:01 – (Joe Delfino): There was a countdown clock, and there was a QR code.

0:53:04 – (Matt Widdoes): There you go. Well, and I’m reminded of, I think it was coinbase that just ran a QR code. They just ran a QR code. Well, and I’m also thinking, too, like, you could, I don’t know all the limitations or technology that’s behind that, but, like, I could actually imagine a world inventing a new ad unit. I think everyone can blame me later. But where you have a QR code, it overlays on top of the game, but it’s blocking the most important part of it.

0:53:30 – (Matt Widdoes): And it’s unique enough that if you scan it and enter in these five digits, it will take it off the screen. And, like, that’s how you close it. But it’s guaranteeing that we’re going to get a click out to this other thing and it’ll just naturally disappear in a minute either way. But if you want to, like, go ahead and take the step, you know, you could have that bifurcated by device, and you could have, you know, a 6 digit code would get you, what? Or 99,900 unique codes per that one. Anyways, I don’t know that tech exists for that because they’re probably running it.

0:54:01 – (Matt Widdoes): You’d need some, like, programmatic QR code to actually make that work and have it tied to device level, which is probably never going to happen in today’s privacy world, but anyways.

0:54:09 – (Joe Delfino): But, yeah, because I don’t want to. I don’t want to seem like I was skirting your. Skirting your original question. Like, from a creative standpoint, what do I have to do? I would urge folks to. To work with platforms that are willing to do what Netflix is doing and push the envelope and willing to do what some of the streaming platforms are doing in building creative and innovative ad units. I think there’s always going to be a wide variety of creative.

0:54:40 – (Joe Delfino): Certainly, that runs in any medium. TV sounds obvious, but they’re big, they’re in the center of the room. And so naturally, there is an inclination, obviously, so, to treat that as a more premium format. And so it’s not a format where I think anybody is encouraged to do what your lawyer is doing. But in cases where someone is doing what your lawyer is doing.

0:55:06 – (Matt Widdoes): Not my lawyer, to be fair, it’s memorable.

0:55:08 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, yeah. Your local lawyer, that’s not your lawyer, that’s just on tv who’s sweating under a lamp. Like, when you see that, you actually remember it. So that’s a really great example of that ad is, objectively, probably not the best ad, but you remember it, which is kind of what advertising is really supposed to do. And the same thing with Metro PCs or Cricket Wireless. Like, I remember that ad you remember the lawyer ad? We remember these ads.

0:55:33 – (Matt Widdoes): If it wasn’t so, like, self deprecating and against his best interest, I would think it was an attention intentional thing. But he – It just, like, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the. The always sunny, where it’s, like, frank’s little beauties contest, and he’s like, all. His face is all busted and all these other things. He looks terrible, and he’s, like, trying to put on this beauty pageant, and he looks like the world’s, like, ultimate creep.

0:55:56 – (Matt Widdoes): It’s like that where you’re like, this is not good for business. There’s no way he would do it. Like, the trade off of the funny and memorable factor is not strong enough to, like, counteract that. Nobody’s gonna want to hire him. But it does make me think about how, like, you have all these people trying to find these viral digital moments in things like TikTok and Facebook, and you have probably this, like, really amazing opportunity, I would think, for the right product to run something local that is, like, streaming or CTV that is, like, so ridiculous and maybe low budget, an over the top bad, but it’s for the right. It’s something where reputation is less important.

0:56:37 – (Matt Widdoes): Um, or something, I don’t know where, like, there’s a certain product that could fit that, where it’s such a funny ad, and you have the viewer wondering, like, is this real life? Like, am I watching this ad on tv right now where, like, they want to rewind it, but they can’t? Or, like, whatever that, like, there’s probably some legs there. Maybe even some examples.

0:56:53 – (Joe Delfino): It’s funny you mentioned that because I feel like, in a lot of ways, we’re going back in time, right? Like, there’s this robust history of very quirky local ads. Right? Like, you. Like, you.

0:57:02 – (Matt Widdoes): Car dealership.

0:57:03 – (Joe Delfino): Car dealerships. Plumbers. Right? Like, there was. It was on John Oliver. Right? Like, they were. They were talking about this plumber in Austin, Texas, that just is constantly on local tv with these ridiculous, ridiculous ads that are, like, spoofs on famous movies, right? And so there’s, like, local advertisers in all these markets that. That have done this over the years.

0:57:27 – (Matt Widdoes): Play with the format.

0:57:29 – (Joe Delfino): Play with the format. And this is, like, again, starting my career now. We’re really coming full circle in programmatic mobile ads to zynga and King and gree. And it’s like, I find it ridiculous that I’m even contemplating that, but maybe they’re onto something there. Maybe there’s a reason why the plumber in Austin spoofs movie and the lawyer sits under a lamp. And, you know, when I was, you know, younger, growing up in Pennsylvania, when I was really young, there was like a crazy painter that was always like painting park benches and stuff. I just, I remember my parents talking about the new ad that would come out right. Like, maybe they’re onto something with that, right? And just because it’s local and it’s on linear and it’s historically not associated with targeting and segmentation and all the technological advances that Internet advertising has given us, maybe to look to what our future is for creative. Like, we may have to look to the past a bit.

0:58:31 – (Matt Widdoes): Well, and I wonder, like, again, thinking about Silicon Valley, I’m just trying to think about it in my own context. And we’re on a podcast, and so I would love to see what is the outcome. I’m sure it would. I would be lighting money on fire. But you say, like, okay, we’re gonna spend 5k in Silicon Valley only with some as much demos we can put on top of it on. I don’t know how much we can choose, but, like, on, let’s say, CNBC or other things that we think get us in front of, like business leaders or something like that, and we’re gonna run the most ridiculous, like, you gotta check out this podcast tv ad.

0:59:05 – (Matt Widdoes): And like, that probably. I just don’t know how people are advertising podcasts. We should probably can do it. But it stands out so much as just different that you’re like, okay, now I’m just curious because the ad, like, if that guy has like a QR code on his screen, the sweaty guy, and he’s like, check out my such and such. I don’t care what it is. I want to see what he’s doing. Like, I want to see the rest of his media packages.

0:59:29 – (Matt Widdoes): And so anyways, but, like, I don’t think people typically go there and instead they’re like, okay, we’ll, like, promote this on leak LinkedIn whenever we post about it, or we’ll run native ads on iOS, like on Apple Podcasts or something that’s like a little bit more within the box. And there again, I don’t think Growth@Scale podcast is probably right for that, but I do think that there are probably non local companies.

0:59:53 – (Matt Widdoes): Like, I remember having this thought a long time ago where you take a national company, but you run local style advertising so that, like, go, go, go. And you run it in those local spots to get the attention of like, oh, that is like, I could see, and maybe they’ve even done it. I don’t know that they have, but I could see somebody like GEICO doing that, where they run these ads that feel a certain way, and then you realize at the end it’s actually a spoof of something else and you’re like, oh, that was a GEICO ad.

1:00:21 – (Matt Widdoes): And so, like, there’s like some way to play with that, I think. Because that expectation of the local ad being all of those things you just mentioned, there’s some way to play with that. I think that for various size companies, that has legs.

1:00:33 – (Joe Delfino): No, you’re absolutely right. And this comes back to cross stream screen measurement for ads. You’re promoting a podcast or a car dealership or you’re a national brand locally. Your job as an advertiser in that case, and on the publisher side, is to find the audience.

1:00:50 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And get their attention. Get in front of them, get their attention.

1:00:53 – (Joe Delfino): And if that means running a quirky local ad on local station, group owned and operated broadcast TV, great. If that means a slick, targeted ad in a Facebook newsfeed or an Instagram reel, like, great.

1:01:14 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. And it could be all of those at all the things at all the times.

1:01:17 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, it could be. Yeah, it could be all the above. It very well might be. And for some advertisers, it is. McDonald’s does a good job of what you’re talking about, by the way. They’re national brand. They treat a lot of their ads locally. A lot of their ads run locally, bought locally.

1:01:31 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah. Well, and that’s the other thing is like, I’m not sure I’d love to see the financial, like, how much discount do I get by buying? Because presumably there’s less bidding for it. And so if I was McDonald’s and I went and bid against Bob the plumber, and I don’t even know if it’s a bidding necessarily, but I just go and buy locally and grant I have to have somebody who makes all those calls and instead of just like making one call to somebody who can get me on everything all at once because I’m trying to buy in this massive volume versus having something where I’m like, okay, I can outbid Bob the builder in every location.

1:02:06 – (Matt Widdoes): Am I saving any amount of money? Am I actually spending more because I’m not buying it in this big package that is easily, more easily sold and consumed? Like, I’m assuming it’s cheaper to just buy nationally. If you want national, it is.

1:02:17 – (Joe Delfino): There are also, again, I had no idea that this world existed prior to my, now almost two years of ComScore. But there’s a variety of independent. You might know about this. It was news to me. Independent agencies that just focus on buying local. Local.

1:02:36 – (Matt Widdoes): And they bundle it.

1:02:37 – (Joe Delfino): And they bundle it. They bundle it across advertisers. They’ll buy it in bottlenecks up front.

1:02:41 – (Matt Widdoes): And then go sell.

1:02:42 – (Joe Delfino): And then. Exactly. And so you’re working with an agency in the Bay Area that might be buying San Jose and Fremont, or Fremont’s probably.

1:02:51 – (Matt Widdoes): And Channel four, five, eight and nine.

1:02:53 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, exactly. Right. And so you’re bundling your buy across a variety of local station groups through an independent agency that works directly. And so you’re not taking it on the. Exactly. You’re not taking it on the chin just being some guy that walks in off the street saying, hey, like, I want to buy a couple ad spots. Yeah, I want to buy one ad. Exactly. You can go to your local independent agency and they’ll, they’ll broker that on, on your back.

1:03:20 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, well, I’ve always thought the same thing, too, about, like, the back, the local ad spots that are, like, mixed in amongst, like, obituaries. We’re like, you know, you’re selling a car, but I’m like, there’s probably some interesting thing you do. It just, like, doesn’t scale very well and it’s really expensive to activate. But, like, how could you sneak a little thing that’s actually a GEICO ad back there that looks like a local thing, that it creates this, like, surprise and delight when you get to the end of it where you’re like, oh, okay. Like, that’s kind of clever. And like, it again, it’s so long tail, and the value is probably. So the juice is probably not worth the squeeze for some big campaign like that.

1:03:52 – (Joe Delfino): But it might be like, I think you’re, you’re getting into a little bit of a, it’s funny you mentioned the obituary section of a local newspaper. Like, you’re getting into, like, what made media prior to the Internet successful, and what made media prior to the Internet successful was relevance locally. And people read their paper for those obituaries, and they saw the local dealership ad or the flower shop ad or the, you know, whatever.

1:04:27 – (Joe Delfino): You know, my local movie theater ad.

1:04:29 – (Matt Widdoes): Next to the local greasy lawyer.

1:04:31 – (Joe Delfino): Exactly. That is totally disintermediary, intermediated in the world of Internet-driven media, where everything’s fragmented. Everything’s fragmented. And there is such a focus on the national campaign. Right. Could you imagine going on a VOX or AXIOS and seeing an ad for your local florist, you’d never. Right, you probably get a premium display ad for Coca-Cola or somebody running a big national premium display ad campaign.

1:04:56 – (Joe Delfino): And then when you get to the bottom of the page, it’s, you’ll never guess what these six celebrities said before they died, served by outbrainer taboola. Right. It is just, it’s just remnant inventory. And so again, going back to the importance of local and making those local connections, that is something that actually has not really translated to mass market digital publishers at all. And it’s arguably one of the reasons why they struggled at scale.

1:05:23 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, that makes sense. I’m curious for any parting words you may have for either a senior marketing leader or CEO or really anybody who’s kind of thinking, hey, okay, I might have, this might be worth a test. And we haven’t pursued it. We’ve talked a lot about it. Any parting advice or words of wisdom or recommendations you might give them in that kind of first attempt and things that they should kind of think through or just general advice you’d give?

1:05:55 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, I wouldn’t be afraid to engage with formats and areas that for whatever reason, have come with perhaps some baggage or a negative connotation. Like, I think local, linear and local is a really good example. This is a format that for years has been highly valuable to advertisers, and there’s more innovation in that space than ever before. And it is a great time to look at local ads or ads that might be sold nationally across a platform like a Paramount Vantage or, or WBD just announced their cross screen ad platform.

1:06:41 – (Joe Delfino): Give those a shot. Because the innovation is catching up to what somebody might have been used to working on the Google’s or the Meta’s or the Amazons, like the big ad platforms. And they are platforms that just like Facebook, just like Google, just like Amazon, they’re starting to come around to, hey, we have a pretty big first party data advantage. We have emails, we have signups. We have in a lot of ways, the same granularity and first party data that the big platforms have. What’s an innovative step for them? Using it? It seems silly, but actually using that for targeting, actually using that for building audiences, actually using that to make their audiences that live on their platforms more valuable to advertisers is something that those folks are innovating on. And so I think that there probably will be consolidation in this space over the course of next year.

1:07:43 – (Joe Delfino): I said no prognostications, but there’s real innovation on TV. There’s real innovation across networks and when folks are thinking about Netflix, they’re thinking about innovation in ads on TV. Netflix is certainly one of the places to go. But then the network platforms and what they’re doing in bringing together their inventory across linear and digital and packaging that using the first party data that they have, that’s something that’s powerful for advertisers.

1:08:16 – (Matt Widdoes): Yeah, agreed. Cool. Well, I think we’ll continue to see it shift and it become easier and easier for people to buy and package that together. I wouldn’t even be totally shocked. I mean, I don’t know that they’re working on anything like that. But the idea that in five years, Facebook has a TV offering of some sort, that’s like, hey, we can buy remnants here and pipe. That wouldn’t. Wouldn’t span.

1:08:38 – (Joe Delfino): Like, you’re gonna see it with sports, right? You’re gonna see this with content, right? You see Apple buying content, buying sports rights. You see Netflix buying sports rights. Yes, absolutely. I was listening to. Talking about podcasts. I was listening to the Scott Galloway podcast last week, and he had, their name escapes me. They’re a business professor at NYU who sort of said, I don’t understand why, and I don’t either. This person who’s way smarter than I has been doing this for way longer than I. He also doesn’t understand. So I feel better in not understanding.

1:09:09 – (Joe Delfino): But why doesn’t an Apple take out a Paramount or a WBD? Or for somebody like Apple, like, Paramount is like, they could probably buy that with petty cash, right? The market cap is $9 billion. They just offer authorized an $150 billion buyback. And so you very well might get to the point where, yeah, Facebook takes a stab at buying sports rights and streams them and partners with a Peacock or a Paramount, and that becomes part of media plans that might live on Meta.

1:09:42 – (Matt Widdoes): If I had to guess, by the way, I would think it has something to do with not trying to get any more heat on antitrust stuff.

1:09:48 – (Joe Delfino): That would be my guess, too.

1:09:49 – (Matt Widdoes): Is it worth it? Or, like, if we’re going to only get so many shots, where do we take that? But, yeah, no, that makes sense.

1:09:56 – (Joe Delfino): I was going to say that would be my guess, too. And, you know, we’ve. We’ve been doing this now for 70 minutes, and we could probably talk another 70 if they got any antitrust.

1:10:04 – (Matt Widdoes): But, yeah, yeah, we’ll need Lori’s little fun for that.

1:10:07 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah.

1:10:08 – (Matt Widdoes): Cool. Well, thank you for all the time today. I always enjoy it, and I look forward to maybe having a future, one where we can go a little bit deeper in these, but super helpful. I’m excited to share this with our audience and look forward to next time.

1:10:20 – (Joe Delfino): Yeah, bring, you know, this has been great. Really happy to be here. You know, bring us back for a debate across mediums. Right. We get TV, programmatic, digital. We can all duke it out.

1:10:34 – (Matt Widdoes): I would love that. Yeah. Well, and I think, again, the answer is, like, the nuance is actually just in the mix. It’s not like either or. It’s definitely an and. So cool. Well, thank you so much again, and I look forward to next time.

1:10:46 – (Joe Delfino): Awesome. Thanks, Matt.

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