Clients want full targeting and measurement capabilities on TV streaming services to match other digital channels but these services are coming of age amid renewed regulatory fervor and as the public becomes increasingly privacy-conscious.

A new report in the Wall Street Journal explores the choices facing TV streaming services as they enter the advertising mainstream at a time when privacy concerns are no longer secondary.

“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, in comments to the newspaper.

The levels of involvement with user data will vary: for an OTT service which has asked the viewer to sign up and with whom they maintain a relationship, questions of consent can be swiftly addressed. For device-makers, meanwhile, such an exchange is not obvious to consumers, and some have run into legal trouble for collecting viewing history without users’ consent.

One of the important issues that they face is how to demonstrate to people that the collection of data will actually do anything to improve the viewer’s experience.

It comes at a time of broader change, as tech giants like Google move to phase out the traditional tracking cookie, a process that has significant implications, not least ensuring the dominance of walled gardens like Google and Facebook.

Here, of course, streaming services have a slight advantage – especially in the case of a company like Roku or Disney-owned Hulu, whose business models involve bringing users into their ecosystem, with the potential to obtain consent for tracking and measurement.

“Do they want to operate like a walled garden?” asks Hershey’s head of media Charlie Chappell. “We know the pluses and minuses of working with walled gardens. If you are going to be more open and help me see how things work across the ecosystem – and you are as good as you say you are – you will win more business that way.

“That’s a trade-off they’ll have to make,” he said.

Sourced from the Wall Street Journal, FCC, WARC