If long-form programming has the perception of premium, short-form content has the young, engaged audiences.
“If you look across national TV ad-supported landscape, there’s not a lot of love for younger audiences,” Magel said. “Younger audiences really have embraced these [online] personalities and have this wonderful connection.”
What buyers ultimately want is “quality viewed impressions around quality content at scale,” said Furman, adding that Starcom’s clients are beginning to recognize that content forms and types are evolving with the distribution methods.
Measurement Meets In The Middle
As more agencies, including Starcom, buy video from a channel-agnostic perspective, they need to reconcile the different measurement approaches of linear TV and online video.
Buyers with digital backgrounds want to understand who’s watching and where content is going, Furman said. “Whereas [with] TV, you have standardized, premium content and are less specific about the audience.”
To bridge those diverging points of view for buyers, content creators are giving buyers more options to understand and measure digital video audiences.
Hulu toes the line by using both TV-favored Nielsen and digital-favored comScore for measurement.
“Just like you have all the houses in ‘Game of Thrones’ battling for the throne, you have a lot of measurement techniques and tools battling to be supreme over all the others,” Manago said. “We’re still trying to find in the marketing business one metric that will rule them all.”
Vevo uses Nielsen to prove scale. At its NewFront presentation, it cited data showing that Taylor Swift’s “Style” video reached 8.6% of young females, the second-highest that week and higher than network shows “Empire,” “Scandal” or “The Big Bang Theory.”
But if digital video is trying its best to close the quality and scale gap, TV is far from closing the targeting gap. “There’s parity in terms of what they consider is quality content,” Furman said. “Where they diverge is you have a TV marketplace that’s not as addressable as the digital marketplace.”
In the upfronts, starting next week, it remains to seen if networks will make closing that addressability gap part of their sales pitch.