OMG’s Kristiaan Kroon asks TV industry for ‘more collaboration and less competition’

Kristiaan Kroon

OMG would be interested in joining the Video Futures Collective if the opportunity is extended to media agencies.

The TV industry needs to collaborate more, and address the current “dysfunction” and “lack of cohesion”, Omnicom Media Group’s chief investment officer, Kristiaan Kroon, has told Mediaweek.

Kroon pointed to the “lack of cohesion” in measurement as one example, citing Foxtel’s partnership with Kantar Media, OzTam, and the approaches used by digital platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.

The spate of measurement approaches is “a function of highly competitive space. But it’s fragmenting, and fragmentation can lead to dysfunction, which is where we are now.”

“There is a future scenario where they could come together, but I will also say I am known as an optimist.”

His comments followed his appearance at the Future of TV Advertising conference, at which he said the TV industry was the “most dysfunctional” sector. More attention should have been paid to the discussion between TVNZ CEO Jodi O’Donnell and Liana Dubois, CMO of Nine Entertainment, according to Kroon.

O’Donnell and Dubois discussed the future of locally owned and operated TV, changes to how it is distributed and funded, and the shift from linear to digital. Kroon highlighted O’Donnell’s reflection on the challenges currently facing TVNZ in the market—job cuts, axing shows, and falling revenue—as a cautionary tale for the Australian industry.

“What that should have been was a rallying cry for more collaboration and less competition among the people in the room, which is what advertising agencies are looking for.”

“To borrow from Mark Coadclients don’t give a shit about measurement. They care about selling more goods and services.”

He noted that linear could “be deprecated in New Zealand within a few years.”

Kroon added that the conference had “a little bit too much focus on internal issues rather than on collaboration as a stronger platform for client outcomes, which is ultimately what we’re all there to do.”

Last week, Foxtel announced its Video Futures Collective think tank, formed after it pulled out of ThinkTV last year. Its initial members include Foxtel Media, YouTube, Samsung Ads, Disney Advertising, and SBS.

Kroon applauded the collective for bringing industry players to the table for a conversation and called it “a positive step”.

He added that he hopes to see Seven, Nine, and Ten – still part of ThinkTV and its parent body, the Premium Content Alliance – follow SBS’ “market leadership” and join the council to be part of a conversation around standardising measurement and terminology.

Kroon said there would be interest in joining the Video Futures Collective if the opportunity is extended to media agencies such as OMG. But, he noted that having the buy and sell sides together around the same table can slow progress.

“We would be really interested in having the conversation about understanding the framework, the ambition, how we would achieve it, and whether we are adding value or just slowing things down. So, coming in too early could be disruptive.”

See also: Foxtel Media launches media industry think tank, Video Futures Collective

Top image: Kristiaan Kroon

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