By Will Richmond

One of the highlights of the recent Video Ad Summit was the keynote conversation with David Cohen, Chief Investment Officer at Universal McCann. David is one of the foremost digital thought-leaders in the advertising industry and oversees billions of dollars of client spending.

In the interview with me, David shared his insights across a range of topics, including how the proliferation of platforms and data is driving a much more complicated landscape, exponentially multiplying how to connect with audiences. David sees the big challenge as re-aggregating today’s fragmented audiences so advertisers can deliver messages at scale.

David says there’s no silver bullet for addressing this, but believes data and measurement are the key pathways. With advertisers demanding more flexibility, David sees the TV upfront process as becoming antiquated, with spending shifting to routes that require lower initial commitments and more room to adapt. He says there’s no “must-buy” in TV any longer, with many digital alternatives now available.

In the interview David also touches on video pricing, how measurement challenges are holding back spending, why SVOD is driving declines in linear TV ratings, why pay-TV unbundling is coming, millennials’ expectations, how programmatic is impacting cross-channel video advertising, why lack of premium inventory continues to be a challenge for online video, how UM’s own measurement solution works and how it’s organizing itself to devote more resources to campaign optimization.

We wrap up with David sharing his thoughts on 4 major video providers and what’s ahead in the next 12 months.