(VIDEO) Liberty Global’s Paul: Focus On ‘Attention Economics,’ Not Just Consumption

03/20/2017 09:51 pm ET

VIEQUES, PR – As the world’s largest international television and broadband company rolls out new set-top boxes to facilitate addressable advertising, Liberty Global is focusing on “attention economics.” This departure from simply looking at content consumption is the outgrowth of the company’s ever-evolving data science capabilities.

“The industry has been talking about this around the fringes but hasn’t used the data in a monetizable way to either trade or to drive that value,” Liberty Global’s MD for Advanced Advertising & Data, John Paul, says in an interview at the Beet Executive Retreat 2017 titled Video Everywhere: The Transformation of Media & Advertising. “And there’s a much bigger story there.”

Paul likes the term “attention economics” because the bottom line is understanding Liberty’s customers engagement with content, or “What’s really going on behind it,” he says in response to a question from Ashley J. Swartz, CEO of Furious Corp., the inventory and supply chain management company serving premium publishers.

As CNBC reports, Liberty recently announced fourth quarter results that included a 198% increase in revenue in Latin America and the Caribbean, driving the company’s stock price up more than 15% in one day. During 2016, Liberty added 946,000 new European subscribers and 94,000 organic Latin American and Caribbean division subscribers.

While understanding data and its implications in the marketplace is a must given the current competitive environment, it’s not rocket science, according to Paul. “What we’ve learned mostly out of this is that we don’t need to be PhD data scientists to get the value out of this,” Paul says. “Most of the value that’s being generated not just within our activities but what we’ve observed in the United States, is actually fairly basic applications of data.”

The ongoing rollout of Liberty’s EOS set-top boxes will enable addressable in markets where the company has yet to plant its flag. Liberty is up and running in Belgium, plus it offers video on demand and dynamic ad insertion in the UK, Latin America and Puerto Rico.

Latin America is a particularly special market for Liberty because it’s selling other channels’ advertising, “So they have skin the game and a real reason to generate this value,” Paul says.

This video is part of a series produced at the Beet.TV executive retreat in Vieques.  The event and series is presented by Videology and 605.  For more videos from the series, please visit this page.

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