Industry Leaders Discuss State of Streaming in 2024, How to Adapt to ‘Today’s Consumer’

Rexa Vella

Industry Leaders Discuss State of Streaming in 2024, How to Adapt to ‘Today’s Consumer’

When asked to summarize his thoughts on streaming in 2024 with just one word, Joe Cady—executive vice president of advanced advertising & partnerships at NBCUniversal—used “democratization.”

“The application of data for targeting and measurement, together with automation, lets us make our premium content available to so many more marketers than we could otherwise work with,” he said. “As we go forward into 2024 and beyond, that will be so much more of an opportunity to expand the scope of marketers who can participate in premium TV.”

Cady was joined by Rebecca Panico, vice president and global head of media at Hilton and Jed Dederick, chief client officer at The Trade Desk, at a panel moderated by Andrew Wallenstein, president and chief media analyst at Variety Intelligence Platform, as a part of Variety’s CES Entertainment Summit held on January 10 in Las Vegas. 

The panel aimed to talk about the state of streaming in 2024, discussing how digital advertising is evolving, how advertisers buy and sell their ads and how experts are embracing these new approaches to maximize the revenue gained from the advertisements shared on their platforms. 

With more consumers now only watching TV via streaming apps, the panelists expressed the importance for advertisers to take an omnichannel, data-driven approach in their TV buying and across all of their media plans, especially as advances made in identity, retail data and measurement, which comes amidst planned cookie deprecation, are threatening to rewrite the rules for digital advertising in 2024. 

When talking about the importance of adaptation in a rapidly changing media landscape, Panico said that planning and preparation are just as crucial as pivoting: “The last couple of years have been a series of hibernations, just planning and preparation and thinking about how technology is going to evolve.”

She elaborated by expressing how crucial it is for brands to adapt to and “embrace” artificial intelligence: “As part of that preparation in 2024, I think that we’re going to find that as AI becomes much more useful and has a utility for brands, and I think all of that planning that we’ve been doing for the last couple of years is going to come to fruition and we’re going to see the fruits of that labor.”

Expanding upon a point made on how planned cookie depreciation will make future data collection more challenging, Panico expressed that brands have long been “managing through signal loss from cookie depreciation for quite some time.”

“We’ve been really thinking through how do we work with partners like The Trade Desk and NBCU to understand our own first-party identities and then being able to leverage and bolster that with partners across the open web and our publishing partners,” she said. “I think it’s [cookies] something I’m really excited to finally say is gone, and now we can move forward in a way that’s much more effective.”

The panel concluded by discussing audience fragmentation that comes from audiences splitting between an assortment of streaming options and alternatives for consuming their media. Dederick concluded by saying he embraces fragmentation, expressing how important it is for brands and platforms to embrace it. 

“Fragmentation is our friend,” Dederick said. “We love a democratized, fragmented, vibrant, open internet, but what we’ve seen is that when our partners lean in and manage their media more holistically, they see tremendous gains in their ability to cut waste, invest more in performant media and ad reach and that they know where their [advertisement] placements are showing up.”

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