Unlocking the Potential of Streaming TV | Lee Doyle
David McBee: Hello and welcome to Simpli.fi TV. I'm David McBee. Our guest today is Lee Doyle, Executive Vice President, Group Managing Director at Empower Media. Lee is an industry-recognized marketing, communications, and media agency leader with over 30 years of experience working with leading marketers across nearly every category and industry, from packaged goods to electronics to professional services and retail and so much more. His clients have included AT&T, Bacardi, Campbell's, Colgate, Dell Computers, IKEA, Netflix, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Paramount Pictures, Procter & Gamble, Target, and many others. Prior to his current role, Lee spent 18 years at GroupM/WPP in a variety of roles across several of their media agencies in both strategic and planning, and buying capacities. Lee is known for bringing an analytical data-led approach to client marketing challenges and developing creative media strategies to deliver exceptional business results. Some of his favorite campaigns include launching the iPhone with AT&T and crafting the media plans for the Hunger Games movie franchise with Lionsgate. Finally, I want to mention that Lee has been a consultant and advisor to Simpli.fi since 2019. Lee, welcome to Simpli.fi TV. I'm so excited to have you. Lee Doyle: Thank you. Good to be here, David. David McBee: Well, I know you have this very robust background and I feel like we could probably talk for an hour, or at least maybe we can do multiple episodes together. But since we have limited time together today, I'd really love to talk about streaming television and what brands, advertisers and agencies really need to know. So let me just start by asking why should marketing agencies be offering streaming TV to their clients? Lee Doyle: Well, I think the simple answer is that any brand that is in linear TV, which I mean by cable or broadcast, should be incorporating connected TV into their video mix. Not only because that's where the viewership is migrating, but because it offers greater precision targeting than linear TV. In reality, though, it's really not that simple. Linear TV still is 50% to 60% of total viewing according to Nielsen, and linear TV is still extremely efficient on a CPM basis if you're looking at broad targets, especially for national brands. In addition, all marketers are looking for greater accountability of their media investment, and it isn't as easy to measure as other forms of digital media. There's no response mechanism like a click-through for accountability. So you need more sophisticated analysis to understand the contribution that streaming is making to your business. I think there's a number of questions marketers need to ask as they start to shift budget into connected TV. Are they investing enough to see the results in their model? Are they actually targeting the right audience or perhaps targeting too narrow an audience? And very importantly, what kind of a CPM am I paying relative to all my other video choices? If I'm paying a premium, it means that CTV has to be that much more effective to deliver comparable results to some of the other video choices out there. David McBee: So what is the story with all these emerging streaming platforms? Are these things that brands should really take into account or are they just some new upcoming thing that is a trend? Lee Doyle: No, absolutely. I think that's where the focus should be is some of the emerging platforms like Tubi and Pluto and a lot of the fast channels that are coming online. I think too much of the focus is on the big established streaming services, which generally carry a big premium. And a lot of the consumers who sort of overinvested, if you will, in streaming services during the pandemic are starting to rethink their choices. They're starting to be a lot more selective about which services they're going to subscribe to, and they're discovering the wealth of choices that are ad-supported that have a ton of great viewing. So I think the focus is really more on the emerging areas where you can more efficiently dive into the connected TV stream, if you will. David McBee: Well, let's talk about some of those emerging services. We've got Pluto, we've got Tubi, Fubo, who do you think is going to win the day? Lee Doyle: I mean, right now Tubi is really coming on fast. They've got a wealth of content. I think their whole idea of going down the rabbit hole really resonates for me. It's so easy, especially for content that may have been around for a while, and sometimes those of us in the media world are somewhat dismissive about old content. But for a lot of audiences, it's still brand new, it still holds up and it's really easy to get sucked in after two or three episodes to four or five seasons of an old classic. And I think Tubi is a great example of one of the platforms that's benefiting from that. David McBee: I personally love Tubi because I discovered Lego Masters Australia on there, and I'm a Lego guy, so my wife and I streamed three seasons straight for a couple of weeks. But what do you say to the advertiser who's like, "Well, I've never heard of Tubi. I don't know if Lego Masters Australia... Is anybody even watching that? I want to be on Yellowstone, I want to be on something very popular." What do you say to them? Lee Doyle: I think you have to look at the cost trade-offs. Here is what it costs to be on Yellowstone, and then bring in the audience data. I think one of the biggest challenges we have in the industry right now is that whole measurement discussion that's been a big part of the upfront discussions this year with alternative measurement sources or alternative currencies coming online. We really just haven't had the kind of visibility into reach and frequency across different platforms that we need to have to make the most intelligent decisions. And I think when you start to look at things that way, when you start to understand what kind of incremental reach each of these platforms is bringing to the table, you can make smarter decisions, you'll see better results in your investments, but we need to embrace better measurement to do that. And that's always been kind of a part of... At least my upbringing in the media world is, we all have our own perceptions of what everybody is doing. Well, we all think everybody watches TV just like we do. And we have to question ourselves and look at, well, what does the data tell me? At least that's the world I was brought in is, don't trust your one-person view of the world, your one-person research, but really look at the data, and what you'll discover is a ton of viewing is migrating to these free services. David McBee: Lee, what do you say to the advertiser who wants the affluent consumer and doesn't believe that they're watching these free services? They think they're just paying for all the different subscription-based services and that's the only way to reach them? Lee Doyle: Well, I think we've got enough data to show that they are watching some things that you wouldn't expect them to be watching. Even if they do have the full array of premium subscription services, some of their viewing is still going to some of these other sources, and I think the data bears that out. Then again, it's a matter of looking at the cost trade-offs. Have we exhausted the reach potential of some of the more efficient options? Because that's the reason in my mind to pay the premium is, if I've reached a ceiling in what I can do with my most efficient media, then it's time to layer in some other channels to continue to increase reach, make sure I'm getting to those more difficult to reach, in some cases, affluent viewers. But very few advertisers are reaching saturation, I think in the more efficient channels that are available. David McBee: So what do you say to all these folks who are really trying to determine where they should invest their money, what DSP they should work with? They're just confused because there's so damn many choices right now. Lee Doyle: Yeah, they are. No question about it. I think the landscape of connected TV is about as confusing as it could be at this stage of the game. I think that's where agencies come in that can focus on these issues. Certainly, there are a variety of great platforms out there. I think some of it depends on the individual businesses. Obviously, I've had experience with Simpli.fi in the past. I think Simpli.fi has some unique approaches, especially this year coming out with their ZTV product. I think that really answers a need from advertisers for how do I best incorporate. And it's very relevant to this conversation, how do I best layer in connected TV and streaming services if I have a linear buy? And one of the things you can do with ZTV is really focus on those zip codes that are underdelivered by traditional linear media, places where the cord-cutting has accelerated, or where viewers have really migrated even more quickly than the average American over to streaming services. So the two really dovetail nicely with each other, the ZTV product along with linear television. David McBee: Thanks for sharing that. I am really excited about ZTV as well, so I'm glad you brought that up. Lee, do you have a favorite show that you watch on some of the old FASTs? Lee Doyle: I'm trying to think of what I'm viewing right now. I'm always a little bit behind because I always tend to wait until something has really taken off. I don't dive in on the first season usually. I like to see if something is strong enough to make it to the second season. So I'm still making it through the first season of Yellowjackets at the moment, but I'm moving quickly, so I should get caught up soon. David McBee: That's an interesting point you make because one of the arguments I hear is that a premium customer is someone watching all the newest stuff and that premium content isn't old. So I love that the same content that was premium a year ago is still premium today for viewers like you and me. Lee Doyle: Very much so. It's funny because as a media professional, it's kind of part of my job to keep up with the cultural zeitgeist and have my finger on the pulse of what are people doing. But when I step outside of my professional life, I keep looking at, boy, there's nothing worse than getting two or three episodes into a series, and this is going back to linear TV, and then finding it's canceled and you don't get to see resolution. So maybe it's because we're not going to as many cocktail parties as we used to before the pandemic, social currency isn't on the forefront, but I always seem to find when I get together with friends, we all have something we can share in terms of something you didn't see. Did you ever get around to Ozark? Did you ever get around too? And there's always something I'm adding to my list. And my list is pretty long, I struggle to keep up with it sometimes. David McBee: Mine as well. I'm a little bit of a TV junkie I have to admit. All right, Lee, before we go, I have a question that I ask all of my guests, which is: Do you have a favorite book or a podcast that you'd like to recommend to our listeners? Lee Doyle: I'm a huge fan of Scott Galloway actually in all forms, his podcasts, he's got a newsletter that he sends out free on Fridays. I've read his books. I don't always agree with him, but he's always provocative. He always makes me think a little bit. And he's always funny. He manages to deliver his message wrapped in wit, so it keeps it entertaining. Well, a lot less dry than a lot of other sort of business-oriented reading. So he's at the top of my reading list all the time. David McBee: Awesome. We'll add that to my list for sure. Lee, thanks so much. What is the best way for viewers to get in touch with you if they want to reach out to you? Lee Doyle: I'm on LinkedIn. I check it almost daily. And I'm on Facebook. I see Facebook as my personal life, I never post anything business-oriented on Facebook. It's almost like more of a family scrapbook for me. So LinkedIn, I'm easy to find there. David McBee: All right, perfect. Lee, thank you so much for being my guest today on Simpli.fi TV. Lee Doyle: You're very welcome. Enjoyed doing it. David McBee: And thank you all for watching. If you liked the topics covered in this episode, please consider joining us for our September webinar, Streaming TV Made Easy - Navigating TV Inventory with Simpli.fi. In it, we will explore the landscape of streaming television inventory and how Simpli.fi's innovative solutions cut through the complexity, offering a clear path to effective streaming TV media buying. Available on demand starting September 11th at simpli.fi/webinars. Thanks for joining us today. I'm David McBee. Be awesome, and we'll see you next time.
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