By: Steve Ellwanger, Beet.TV
Some people are anxious because addressable television ads represent a mere one percent or so of total TV spending. Then there’s Andrew Ward, who suggests that everyone take a step back and consider how far things have come in the past decade.
Back in 2006, when Comcast first debuted addressable ads in Huntsville, Alabama, the media world was analog only. “Trying to launch a digital-like solution like addressable on the back of an analog architecture was a little like pushing a string,” Ward says during a panel discussion at the recent Beet.TV Retreat 2016.
Now Ward is Group Vice President of Comcast 360 Media, which helps advertisers manage digital convergence across the full scope of Comcast’s multi-platform media properties. His dry humor on full display during an interview by moderator Tim Hanlon of The Vertere Group, Ward says there was “a fair degree of separation of church and state” between the advertising and distribution business inside Comcast.
“I remember being at an investor conference where Brian Roberts was speaking not long after I joined the company,” Ward recalls. “He said ‘well, we’re really not in the ad business.’ And I said wow this was a bad career choice on my part.”
That was because advertising was the tail on a $40 billion distribution dog. Then came Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal, wherein advertising became the second largest standalone business behind residential video.
Click here to continue reading and watch the full panel discussion.