2020 Visions: An online audience measurement solution fit for the future

As we head into what is set to be a seminal year for the digital industry, NDA has been talking to leaders across the market to hear their thoughts on what 2020 holds.

Ian Dowds is CEO of online media measurement for advertisers body UKOM, which is owned by ISBA, IAB and AOP with representation from the IPA. Ian’s 25-year career across TV, agency, print and digital including senior roles at TV, Mindshare, Turner, Specific Media, Trinity Mirror and InMobi.

Measurement will continue as one of the biggest challenges faced by the digital industry in 2020 and UKOM will play an important role in its evolution and development, especially in the cross-media audience measurement increasingly demanded by advertisers. We caught up with Ian to discover what is top of his priority list in 2020.

What has been the most important development of 2019 in the digital industry and your professional highlight of the last decade?

It has been a dynamic year in terms of new technology, notably with the UK launch of 5G. This really is a step-change – and its arrival could dovetail nicely with the launch of a new generation of TV streaming services.

In other words, more choice, better quality, faster delivery.

We’re also witnessing the end of the cookies era – that will bring challenges as well as opportunities for us all.

What are you most excited about in digital in 2020?

In January, UKOM will announce a new research partner on a 5-year contract running from January 2021.

We’re building a new online audience measurement solution fit for the future. Watch this space.

Why should advertisers be excited about digital in 2020?

During the economic uncertainties of 2019, online advertising – and mobile in particular – was the standout sector and we can expect an even stronger growth story next year.

There will be lots of opportunities for people to shine in 2020.

We are seeing a plethora of new companies entering the space. Other than your own company, who are you most excited about?

TikTok in the social media space – watching its evolution in 2020 will be fascinating.

The online banking sector is unlikely to be dull; and the likes of Disney+ could have a significant impact on the UK’s viewing habits.

What your one Christmas wish for the digital industry in 2020?

More joined-up thinking.

Many advertisers and agencies still tend to place heritage media and digital in separate silos.

It’s outmoded thinking – and hopefully UKOM can help create the sorts of cross-media audience measurement solutions that will enable a more integrated approach.

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