Advertisers entering the burgeoning medium of streaming TV say they want better measurement and targeting capabilities than they are finding there. But a shadow looms over any efforts to give them what they want: the privacy backlash that has recently put other digital media on the defensive. From a report: That means obtaining viewers’ consent to use information on what they watch will be essential for whatever tools emerge as the best way to measure and reach streaming audiences. Online advertising has long relied on technology like tracking cookies and tactics such as retargeting — following people from website to website to repeatedly show them the same ad for a shirt or a trip they may have briefly considered online. The industry’s pervasive monitoring and targeting regime ultimately fueled the rise of ad blockers among consumers, new privacy regulations in Europe and California, and efforts by Apple and Alphabet’s Google to weaken some tools on which advertisers, publishers and ad-technology companies have come to rely. Players in streaming TV don’t want to provoke the same outcome. “The industry as a whole cannot take the privacy of consumers for granted and make the same mistakes that were made on the internet decades ago,” said David Spencer, assistant manager of audience buying strategy for General Motors Co. The risk is growing as more people stream TV over the internet, however, including on television sets that can tell what they are watching.

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