Traditional television and internet-delivered television are heading for a merger in a new, next-generation standard. And the result could be a complete overhaul of how cross-channel marketing and ad campaigns are conducted.
The merger is part of version 3.0 of the Advanced Television Systems Committee standard, or ATSC 3.0 for short. Our current HD system is ATSC 1.0, and 2.0 has been skipped in favor of this more advanced incarnation.
Under 3.0 — which is expected to be finalized as a standard this spring — the television signal becomes based on Internet Protocol, the IP family whose most famous member is the internet.
As a result of that shift, the same broadcast signal can be delivered to compatible mobile devices and to ATSC 3.0 TV sets. And TVs and streaming boxes like Roku can house applications to manage the TV stream, just as Net-based applications manage data.
Every household watching an ATSC 3.0 TV program — and potentially every viewer, if the application asks for sign-in in order to populate preferences — will be identifiable and addressable. Today, some TV viewers are addressable through set-top boxes, but it is not a uniform standard, and it doesn’t apply to viewers who watch over-the-air TV.
Every TV household will have the kind of profile that an online user has, consisting of TV-specific data integrated with your online and offline selves. As a result, true cross-channel campaigns — where TV and the Net are equally addressable and trackable — could become much easier.