HITS Spring: Blockgraph Aims for Secure ‘Identity’ for TV Ad Industry

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — Jason Manningham, GM of the Blockgraph initiative — a TV industry platform designed to offer secure information sharing among broadcasters and advertisers, without disclosing user data to third parties — said the Comcast-backed service has one overriding goal: “We’re on a quest to build what we call the safe identity layer.”

Speaking May 23 during the presentation “Blockgraph: The Blockchain Platform for TV Advertising” at the annual HITS Spring event, Manningham said the benefits of Blockgraph are huge: improved planning, targeting, execution and measurement (across all screens) for TV advertising and marketing.

Already touting participation with some of the world’ largest media companies, Blockgraph’s ability to provide a secure platform for media companies to connect and share audience insights is already proving transformative: the number of original scripted TV series hit an all-time high of 495 in 2018 … and so too did the number of distribution channels. Connecting the right advertising to the right platform has become more crucial than ever. “Television is in its golden age, with more content than ever before,” Manningham said. “But there are more ways a viewer at the center of the content ecosystem to view that content.”

Data is at the center of the initiative: between the content, the devices and the connectivity, Manningham shared data estimating 550% growth in the amount of data media and entertainment companies will be dealing with between 2018-2025. “More data begets more data because these services have become more valuable,” he added. Data has become “table stakes” for advertising, with sellers needing more accurate ways to target customers, analyze advertising effectiveness, and optimize their media spending. “Data in the TV ecosystem works very different than digital,” Manningham said.

Among the concerns with all the data moving around today’s entertainment ecosystem is privacy and security, with nearly 80% of ad executives believing privacy is their top priority, and two out of three concerned about consumer backlash around their data. For good reason: “It seems we can’t go a week without seeing another breach,” Manningham said.

Blockgraph addresses that issue, with its blockchain-enabled software, connecting different data sets across the digital media supply chain, offering the secure exchange of privacy-compliant audience insights, specifically for addressable advertising. “It’s being used to create a ledger without a third party,” Manningham added. Advertisers and media companies keep their own data, but, by using Blockgraph, can find the right matches.

“It reduces waste, creates value, and doesn’t [compromise] the data,” Manningham said.

HITS Spring was presented by Entertainment Partners, with sponsorship by LiveTiles, 5th Kind, Amazon Web Services, Birlasoft, Exactuals, Expert System, MarkLogic, Microsoft Azure, Richey May Technology Solutions, SoftServe, Spark Digital, Avanade, CDSA, Cinelytic, EIDR, MicroStrategy, Signiant, the Trusted Partner Network, human-I-T, and Zaszou IT Consulting.

The event was produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), in association with Women in Technology: Hollywood (WiTH); the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA); and the Smart Content Council.