DigitasLBi is a veteran in trying to figure out the value of YouTube inventory.
The agency first partnered with OpenSlate in 2013, back when the vendor was called Outrigger Media, to build a YouTube tool called the Emerging Talent Tracker. That tracker ranked YouTube creators and channels across a broad set of metrics to determine audience engagement beyond proxies like subscriber and view counts.
But the problems evaluating inventory quality go beyond YouTube, and it’s becoming a bigger issue for buyers looking across numerous video supply sources including Twitter, Vine, Instagram and Facebook.
“The big problem we have in digital is oversaturation and over-frequency,” said Marsden. “It’s also difficult to measure because of the lack of cookies and inaccuracy in view counts or incomplete data. There’s market opportunity for better comparables and the need to create a single language media planners and buyers across TV and digital speak.”
There is progress. Facebook last fall began supporting TRP-based buys to unite planning metrics for TV and video buyers.
The challenge, however, is applying things like TRPs and gross rating points to sales and business outcomes because while a GRP accounts for campaign performance relative to a program or schedule, it lacks insight into audience attributes.
“At the end of the day, my belief is audience is going to continue to matter more than a GRP,” said Marsden, “but we do need to be able to understand different languages in order to create a full communications plan for clients.”