As TV Gets Its Data On, Walled Garden Problem Looms
WSJ.com reports that over the past few years, the TV business has been trying to adopt principles of digital advertising, such as data-driven ad targeting and technology-driven automation.
But there’s one aspect of digital media that many ad stakeholders would like the TV business to avoid: the walled garden.
That metaphor, commonly attached to digital ad giants Facebook and Google, refers to the idea of a closed ad buying system. Media buyers say that when they run data-infused digital ad campaigns, they can employ technology to target people across hundreds, if not thousands of websites. But when they work with Google and Facebook, they are often required to used these companies’ technology and tools and data sets–and they can’t always take that data with them.
Now that nearly every major TV company is building out its own data-centric ad practice, some buyers worry that the NBCUniversals and Viacoms of the world may be trying to build their own walled gardens. These ad buyers worry that such an approach will limit the growth of this nascent ad sector.