As Digital Video And TV Converge, Measurement Questions Loom

AmitSethIndustry insiders worry that as digital video and television converge, one will cannibalize the other in terms of media allocation.

Not necessarily so, said Scott Ferber, founder and CEO of video ad platform Videology, during a panel the company hosted Wednesday. Ferber shared research commissioned by Videology and conducted by Forrester Research revealing that 70% of media decision-makers (from a sample size of 150) believe advertisers and agencies will begin to manage TV and video campaigns holistically and will ultimately be bought in similar fashions.

The biggest question is how one should measure these converged buys.

Andrew Feigenson, SVP of digital client service at Nielsen, said during the panel that taking one independent, third-party metric, such as Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR), and applying it cross-platform is still in the early adoption stage among marketers, “although we are starting to get there.”

Feigenson alluded to early traction in Nielsen’s ongoing rollout of a software development kit (SDK) designed to link cross-platform ad views with OCR through digital watermarking technology. It basically translates ratings around video or display content to Nielsen’s standard TV-viewing measurement C3. This could represent an additional technical advancement in bridging the gap in measurement between digitally executed and standard TV buys.

Amit Seth, EVP of global media products at Nielsen, elaborated recently for AdExchanger the underpinnings behind the development for digital and TV convergence.

AdExchanger: One of the cornerstones of addressable TV is the accompanying third-party data that enhances the buy. What’s Nielsen’s role in addressable TV?

AMIT SETH: We have enablement for marketing objectives based on audiences. The strength that Nielsen brings is the ability to bring offline behavior into this environment. We are already heavily engrained in digital, so we bring TV-viewing behavior into digital including digital video. We bring offline purchasing behavior, or PRIZM segments, [which is] information on audiences and their behavioral profiles. That’s kind of one piece of your question. The other piece is addressability and optimization. We believe that as addressability comes to TV, the cross-platform buy is truly consummated. Today the cross-platform buy doesn’t happen for many reasons including the presence of siloed teams … but as addressability comes, the cross-platform buy gets enabled. That’s the advantage of addressability where you don’t just look to optimize in one modality.

If media is increasingly sold cross-platform, what becomes the right metric to measure it by?

[Say you] advertise on TV and were able to get a certain reach [or] you advertise on digital and with OCR and you are able to get a certain reach. But frequency is an even more important issue over and beyond reach. [It’s answering], “How much duplication is there if the person was shown an ad on TV and on digital they saw the same ad?” because it could be wasteful. It could be over the frequency limit.

So understanding unduplicated reach is a very important aspect of our cross-platform measurement. You have measurement in each of those areas and then you have an overreaching framework that says how much duplication exists between those metrics so you can plan for it. The objective is not only trying to maximize reach, so therefore minimize duplication. The objective could actually be forced duplication. There are some advertisers who may say, “I want to advertise on TV and capture those same people on digital with a follow-up message.” Maybe with a call to action because digital allows a click-through or to get the same people to extend that value. That’s how we look at cross platform and the intersection of how many people do both.

What’s still the greatest hurdle to leap in a converged world?

In the converged world, the challenge really is how you combine different objectives [for instance, premium programming vs. user-generated content] to yield value for the buyer. It’s as big a challenge to measure that because in the world of C3, you have to give credit to the program. If you’re seeing that program on a tablet, you have to provide an extension to C3. At the same time, you cannot then provide that to the digital-only metric because you’re double counting, so there are significant challenges in the converged world.


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