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The Measurement Gap: Millennial Viewing Isn’t Being Captured

There’s a glaring gap in video measurement. Brands want to reach millennial and generation X viewers, but 66 percent of those demos’ TV and video consumption isn’t being captured. This news comes from Hearts & Science [1], an Omnicom Media Group agency.

Hearts & Science ran a three-day online study in May that questioned millennials (22 to 37) and Gen Xers (38 to 45) who watched at least three hours of video per day on any platform. It found this group reported watching 30 hours per week of video, with 10 on traditional TV platforms and 20 on other platforms and devices.

The problem is that while Nielsen and ComScore do a solid job measuring traditional TV viewing, they show big gaps when looking at in-app content and ads viewed on mobile devices, connected TV devices, and streaming services.

Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings software development kit was supposed to stop the problem, but Hearts & Science notes that adoption has been slow since publishers need to foot the bill to integrate the system in to their apps, and need to do so on every platform. Additionally, Nielsen’s Digital TV Ratings only include streamed content when the ad load is identical to that of broadcast, and that’s rarely the case.

Another scary stat form Hearts & Science: 47 percent of millennials and gen Xers say they watch no traditional TV content at all. Their viewing is entirely outside of the current measurement area. These are the “unreachables,” the agency says.

“Mobile and streaming innovation bring about new creative opportunities, but they also create a complex problem that can be summed in a simple statement: if it can’t be measured, it can’t be properly targeted or planned against as part of a cohesive, cross-platform campaign,” says Hearts & Science CEO Scott Hagedorn.

There’s a solution, but it involves marketers, agencies, and content producers all working together. They need to unite to move measurement forward, pushing for open SDKs, while adjusting their planning systems to account for the measurement gaps.

Hearts & Science has created a graphic [2] that summarizes its findings.