Viacom Presents First-Ever Datafront to Improve the Business of Buying TV

The company's ad products will be on display

As Upfront season gets into full swing this week in New York, advertisers, marketers and network execs will come together in theaters across the city to talk fall TV: what's hot, what's not and just how much it's all worth. Viacom, however, is preparing another kind of presentation that aims to make the business of buying TV much more precise and transparent: the Datafront, which will take place in New York Tuesday, May 17.

Consumers have been watching TV across multiple screens for years, so data has been a key player in Upfront season for some time, but Viacom thinks it can package it better.

"We've really seen data move substantially in the last couple of years from the nice-to-have to an essential ingredient in the way television advertising is being packaged, delivered and valued," said Viacom data strategy evp Kern Schireson. "[We're] taking data from the back room to the boardroom and that's really happening at speeds this year that we haven't seen before."

Viacom has laid out five points of discussion for Tuesday's presentation: TV, measurement, marketing science, brand content creation and fan delivery. Not surprisingly, the company's suite of ad products like Viacom Vantage and two of its recently launched products, fan affinity tracker Viacom Viewprint and the Echo Social Graph, which measures effectiveness of custom content across social media, will take a starring role in the presentation. But the company has a broader vision for the event.

"The Datafront is about engaging the dialogue across the industry," says Schireson. "I think [Viacom is] credible to do that because of the work we've done to take a leadership position in data with [our products] over the last couple of years."