2020 Focus: data, scale, simplicity

Jan 2nd, 2020

Written by Ampersand Marketing

It’s official, 2020 is here! Before we all hit the ground running again, we wanted to pause and share what we see ahead for this year.

It’s safe to say that 2019 brought about both transformational changes at Ampersand, as well as foundational work. While there is no shortage of opportunity, it will take a “focus on focus” to deliver the solutions that will make a difference to the industry. Ampersand is focused on three core areas: data quality, scale, and simplicity in everything we do. Each alone is impactful when done right, but together, they have the power to truly meet the needs of a brand, and truly move the needle for the industry. As TV continues to evolve, it’s imperative we all get this right.


For a little more insight from our leadership team, we asked our CEO, President, Chief Data Officer and Chief Technology Officer:

“What does 2020 look like for you, with data, scale and simplicity in focus?” 

Nicolle Pangis, CEO

The start of a New Year is always a time of reflection in life and in business. 2019 was a transformative year for Ampersand. You may have seen our marketing message in 2019: “TV is evolving and so are we.” The statement could not be more true – both for the industry, and for our team at Ampersand. We changed our company name, our company headquarters, we launched a capability to allow for our more than 2000 clients to begin buying television using census level audience data across nearly 40 million households in the US. We grew our local TV business and our national TV business, both across linear and addressable. As transformational as 2019 was though, we walk into 2020 as a company with the same mission we started with nearly four decades ago: to unify and simplify how TV is bought by leveraging our platform to automate the TV buying process with real data at scale to power precise planning, targeting, and reporting of  a television campaign. While many companies are talking about this, ours has a track-record of unifying the industry before. We also happen to represent the largest share of television viewership in the United States. Looking at our three core areas that we want to bring to our clients this year -better data, simplicity, and scale – it’s this scale which will matter most as we move to audience-based television buying. As the current connective tissue of major MVPD’s, telco, satellite, and OTT companies we recognize the position we’re in and the responsibility that comes with it. It’s one that enables us to harness our supply partnerships and grow the TV ecosystem together in this new era of TV.

Andrew Ward, President

In today’s fragmented TV landscape where individuals are in control of how, where and when they access their favorite content, it is becoming an increasingly complex task for brands to find the necessary scale that will deliver the outcomes they need. Solving for this challenge is at the forefront of everything we are working on with our partners in 2020. As we head into the new year and a new decade, expect to see Ampersand continuing to simplify this complexity by offering agencies and advertisers a one-stop solution, with access to the single largest share of TV viewership, aggregated across hundreds of cable networks, in over 80mm households, and distributed by every MVPD, telco, satellite company and OTT provider in every TV market in the US. With the inclusion of STB viewership insights from over 40mm households, brands will be able to buy more precise audiences, (beyond just age and gender), driving improved audience-based TV planning, reporting and measurement.  This will mean not just scale in where you want to reach your audiences in TV, but scale in precisely who you want to reach. While we saw early success stories in 2019 with our first release of audience-based planning in the local market, I’m looking forward to scaling this powerful capability with richer TV audience data and measurement solutions for all buyers in 2020. 

Bob Ivins, CDO

2020 will be an interesting year for TV and TV advertising as the business models and relationships that have ruled TV advertising for decades are rapidly being transformed. One example is the codependent relationship of media owners and distributors (MVPDs). Historically media owners produced content and licensed to MVPDs to distribute to consumers.  The culmination of TV data at scale that occurred in 2019 will make 2020 a year to watch for the entire TV ecosystem. I see an opportunity to champion more efficient and more effective TV advertising and produce benefits for distributors, media owners, advertisers and even consumers. Data will be the critical ingredient. As I think about the importance of data for the industry in 2020 and Ampersand’s role, we sit in a unique position as a unifier of all TV distributors, to be able to negate the advantages that digital has historically had over TV when it comes to targeting and measurement. This will undoubtedly translate into greater operational efficiencies, and ultimately simplify how we transact in the TV ecosystem. 

Gerrit Niemeijer, CTO

In this coming year, it’s more important for us than ever to simplify the process in which our clients buy in TV – whether with more custom audience segments, or against traditional age/gender and TV models. The reality is, what we do is complex, and true expertise in TV is required to get simplification right. Through our end to end platform, Ampersand is taking steps to make it increasingly simpler for a brand to buy and execute a campaign across what is an increasingly fragmented television landscape. This is being done across all TV supply with represent – whether its local or national – whether it’s data and audience-driven TV, whether it’s through digital, OTT, or CTV and any combination thereof. I consider us fortunate, in a way, because we have a head-start with a foundation of automation to build upon. We’re now getting to combine that automation through technology, with rich audience data and state-of-the-art data science. I’m personally excited about 2020, because our product and engineering teams have a primary mandate: to continually simplify the platform for our clients, with more automation, more intelligence, more precision in data, and more transparency into results and insights.