Video Essentials

ARF Panelists Address Problems of Cross-Screen Video Measurement

The goal for the advertising world now is creating a unified impression that covers both traditional TV and the new world of streaming video, said Ed Gaffney, director of implementation research and marketplace analytics for GroupM. Gaffney spoke on a morning panel today at the Advertising Research Foundation 2017 Audience Measurement Conference in Jersey City, New Jersey.

“We see counting impressions across all screens as an imperative,” Gaffney said.

Advertisers face a problem as linear TV ads slowly decline, yet there’s no standard way to measure where those ads are moving to. The solution for Gaffney is to create a C7-type of system that can be slotted into existing planning and buying systems. Doing so would allow the industry to move forward without needing to extensively rebuild current planning and buying systems. It would also let the industry stem the bleeding from linear losses.

“If we’re still doing C7 in 10 years, we need to be shot,” Gaffney said, drawing laughter and approving nods. The roadblock to a new system is that there are many players involved and getting agreement is difficult. He’d like to see the industry create a year-by-year incremental roadmap so that all involved can plan for change, rather than resorting to big lurching movements when the industry is finally forced to take drastic action.

“Right now, more money goes through TV,” Gaffney said, noting that there’s a well-established system for buying TV. The digital measurement ecosystem is growing by taking the best parts of TV measurement and adding digital components—and the TV world is adding addressability, better use of data, and quality gauges to be more like digital. The end result should be a holistic cross-screen system that supports vendor and client needs. Be flexible and open to change, he encouraged the audience, and don’t get stuck in a rut trying to protect a core business.

Ryan King of Samba TV and Sandy Padula of Turner Broadcasting System

Continuing that thread, a late-morning talk examined a measurement study created by TNT and Samba TV. TNT hired Samba to study advertising for new shows, comparing the effectiveness of TV-only views with TV and digital views.

While TV-only views gave new programs a 1.25 percent lift, explained Ryan King, director of research for Samba TV, TV and digital exposures led to a 1.46 percent lift. Those TV-only views excluded ads on TNT, by the way, since those viewers are more inclined to watch TNT shows.

Improvements increased in the live+3 and live+7 windows, highlighting how people watch long-form dramas these days. In fact, views increased even beyond seven days, as people often record shows and watch many episodes at once, perhaps catching up for a finale.

Addressable TV ads delivered higher tune-ins (five percent of those targeted watched the show), while national TV campaigns delivered higher reach, King explained. Addressable is especially good for sending reminder messages, noted Sandy Padula, senior vice president of research for TBS and TNT, reminding people to tune in that night. Day-and-date tune-in matters less these days, as people watch at different times, but ad frequency matters: Viewers need to be reminded to set the DVR.

King and Padula offered four takeaways from their study: when it comes to combining TV and digital, one plus one equals three; go beyond live or same-day promotions; remember that frequency matters; and new shows can recruit new viewers for a network. TNT got the results it was looking for, attracting a new audience for series unlike what they’d offered before, and a multi-platform approach helped it get there.


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