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How to Measure CTV Advertising Success Without a Collective Currency

Without a "universal source of truth" in ad performance measurement, how can CTV advertisers accurately gauge their success? Evan Shapiro, CEO, ESHAP discusses the challenges and some strategic approaches for effective CTV ad measurement with Lana LoRusso, VP Sales, Atmosphere TV, in this clip from Streaming Media Connect 2023.

Shapiro says that recent studies, including one by Samsung, show that the consumer ad experience on CTV is superior to linear TV because it is much more personalized. However, even with this improved experience for users, its deeper benefits for advertisers and platforms remain opaque due to a lack of a universal measuring system for ad engagement. He notes that several companies are working on fixing this issue, such as VideoAmp and iSpot, and he asks LoRusso how Atmosphere is approaching the issue. “You talk to the agency partners,” he says. “You talk to brand managers at brand buyers. What is their attitude? What's the conversation you are hearing writ large in the buying and selling community around this lack of [a] unified source of truth?”

LoRusso notes some of the perceptual issues that media buyers have with Atmosphere, in particular, due to the nature of its out-of-home digital signage business, which may or may not include sound. “So it goes back and forth,” she says. “And to your point, I think that the majority of the clients or the ad agencies are buying either with VideoAmp or iSpot, and they don't measure platforms that don't have sound. That's the issue for us right now. So we are measured by something called the People Platform, which was born out of Nielsen, and outdoor buyers understand that.”

She emphasizes that Atmosphere is doing its best to guide these ad measuring companies into a more flexible and dynamic mindset for tracking data. “We want to work with VideoAmp to find a solution because we are a video platform. We run like a video; we serve all our ads dynamically. We understand how long people are streaming for. We know what channels they're streaming on with us. We have all that information and data, but we are not bought that way in most cases.”

She notes that no matter how sophisticated the technology gets, gathering a true sense of real-time ad engagement is still quite an inexact science, and this has not changed since the days of analog linear TV viewer tracking. “You could get up; you could go to the bathroom. How do [we] know you're engaged?” she says. “I mean, I'm on my phone all the time doing five different things as I watch one show. It was the same thing [then]. How do we know people are really looking up at the TV at the time the ad comes out?”

Shapiro says, “It goes back to that John Wanamaker quote, ‘I know half my marketing money is being wasted. I just don’t know which half,’ which he said in 1927 or something like that. And we're still dealing with it.”

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