-->
Save your FREE seat for Streaming Media Connect this August. Register Now!
  • February 28, 2023
  • By Bruce Haymes Executive in Residence (EIR) at Progress Partners , Cheryl Idell Executive in Residence (EIR) at Progress Partners, Jeff Krentz Executive in Residence (EIR) at Progress Partners , Scott Schiller Executive in Residence (EIR) at Progress Partners
  • Blog

The New CTV Challenges of Advertising Metrics

Article Featured Image

The advertising measurement landscape is like our own universe, constantly expanding and developing. Our once simple staple, the TV, has been a monolith hiding an infinite number of new variations. Then, the big bang of rapid technology innovation enabled the delivery of high-quality video across infinite devices turned the media business upside down. Fragmentation of hardware, software and advertising solutions for the delivery of TV content challenges the race for consumer attention and their wallets. What marketers once thought was complicated: 500 cable/satellite channels, time-shifted content, SVOD and AVOD, now seems relatively simple. Today, viewers can consume an infinite volume of content via a wide variety of mobile and fixed devices, including closed hardware systems such as AppleTV, Chromecast, Firestick, walled content gardens for connected TV (CTV) such as Disney+, Peacock, Hulu, YouTubeTV. All come with a variety of payment options that give the consumer the freedom to select ad-supported or ad-free content depending upon preferences and budgets. This has created challenges for marketers, publishers, advertisers, and agencies seeking access to consistently defined audiences and predictable, measurable performance outcomes. 

Historically, tracking consumer engagement with TV content was easily done with Nielsen ratings. Nearly all advertisers, publishers, and agencies collectively agreed that Nielsen’s measurement of audience size and demographics was reliable and representative of the entire TV market. Each party in the ecosystem derived benefits from this tacit understanding. The Nielsen ratings provided media and ad sales teams with the ability to accurately predict revenues - something their CFOs and Wall Street loved. The industry elevated Nielsen’s audience measurements to such a level of utility that it became accepted as the TV industry’s “currency.”  Nielsen’s numbers were as good as money. 

Expanded delivery methods and fragmented consumer attention have significantly devalued the currency. Consider that the last episode of M*A*S*H aired in 1983 and captured an audience of 106 million - almost every adult in the country at that time. Today, the highest-rated programs in the US attract a mere 20M viewers distributed across CTV and other digital solutions that are not suitable for Nielsen metrics—effectively making that audience only worth half as much (the leakage of linear viewing from cable/sat to CTV). 

Since more dispersed audiences are harder to identify, no unified system of measurement able to accurately validate audiences across all types of screens has yet emerged. 

This is particularly frustrating to publishers who see the substantial incremental revenue opportunities presented by CTV. As CTV is inherently addressable and IP-based, data available from other IP-based platforms (web and mobile for instance) is now available for  CTV advertising. This rich, census-based data allows for more impactful audience segmentation, targeting, personalization, and performance marketing. All of which adds up to more revenue for publishers and improved outcomes for advertisers.

Not surprisingly, the introduction of CTV has ushered in new entrants into the measurement market claiming to be the panacea and jockeying to be the replacement currency. Digitally native companies like VideoAmp, SambaTV, Comscore, and iSpotTV have moved in to fill gaps left by Nielsen, all striving to elevate their CTV measurements to the level of currency or at least “near currency.” And Nielsen isn’t giving up easily, as they work on launching NielsenOne that evolves their methodology to address the newly combined linear and CTV landscape. 

Defying classification, leading technology companies have also entered the market, crowding out the former leaders. Google and Hulu are now major distributors of live TV - once the sole domain of cable and satellite operators. Netflix, Apple, and Amazon have become some of the largest and most awarded producers and distributors of scripted content and are edging into live streaming as well. TV (Samsung, LG, etc) and hardware manufacturers (Roku) are selling ads directly on their devices. This is providing advertisers, who traditionally had limited options for connecting direct consumer connections, are able to use CTV as that laser-focused medium.

These developments raise a number of questions related to video metrics, measurement, and currency. The answers to which will permanently impact consumers, advertisers, publishers and measurement companies and include:

  1. The case for measurement – what is the objective?
  2. What are the primary categories of measurement and currency and who are the key players?
  3. Does video need one common currency?
  4. What does the dream framework look like?
  5. Who will be the likely winners and who should be collaborating or consolidating?

These are the big questions the industry’s grappling with that we’ll explore in a series of upcoming articles. We are four media, marketing and research executives with operational experience in some of the most important organizations in the TV industry including, Nielsen, Kantar, Netflix, Time Warner, Disney, Quibi, Snap, Mindshare, Fox, Comcast, NBCU, and The IAB

This series, sponsored by Progress Partners and its Executive-in-Residence program, will address these challenges, and opportunities they present, in an effort to advance the debate. What makes this series unique is that we will explore these topics from the perspective of the four major constituents of the TV ecosystem,(i) consumer, (ii) publisher, (iii) advertiser/agency and (iv) measurement provider. We will release a new installment every few weeks leading up to the TV upfronts and intend to answer all of the questions raised by the disruptive and exciting trends impacting the TV industry. 

We’re filled with the same awe and excitement exploring the universe of measurement as Dave Bowman, the astronaut in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey, was when he discovers that the mysterious monolith he’s orbiting holds an infinite number of stars - the beginnings of the universe.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Progress Partners. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]

Streaming Covers
Free
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

Unlocking Contextual Targeting Opportunities on CTV

TV is being digitized at an interesting time on the digital advertising timeline. Just as advertisers are able to target audiences on the big screen, their favorite approach - third party cookies - are going away. This is inconvenient, but David Naffis, GM of CTV at Kargo, argues that it's also a catalyst to force advertisers to test and perfect other targeting methodologies on CTV. One of the most promising is contextual targeting.

YouTube Tests Its Advertising Sway--Side-Stepping Standards, Winning Budgets

YouTube may be too big to ignore. The question for advertisers might be - is it so big that it doesn't have to play by the rules? Hunter Terry of Lotame discusses many of the unusual and unexpected advertising advantages that YouTube currently possesses and what that means for the overall CTV advertising industry.

Gen Z’s New Frontier: Elusive Generation Inspires Innovative Marketing

Gen Z's preference for streaming and digital devices has driven the growth of Connected TV (CTV) as advertisers focus on delivering personalized and authentic ads through CTV to target this generation. Gijsbert Pols of Adjust discusses how advertisers are shifting budgets towards CTV due to its advanced metrics, real-time data, and ability to engage Gen Z with tailored content, making it a key driver of advertising growth.

Why Ad Monitoring on Real Devices Is Essential for OTT Performance

Yoann Hinard, COO at Witbe, outlines why ad monitoring on real devices is essential for OTT performance

Where Does Attention Lead? Why You Need to Link Attention Measurement to Outcomes

Chris Kelly of Upwave discusses why attention is one of the most discussed topics in marketing today, and he outlines what that attention is worth, where it leads, and why there is a need for standardization in the field.

Advertisers Servicing Specific Geographic Locales are Wasting Their Ad Spend on DMA-Level Impressions

CEO of AdImpact Kyle Roberts discusses how television wastes ad impressions for Tier II media buyers focused on driving traffic to specific, local businesses, why this is a significant problem, and how new tech that allows for finer-tuned zip code analysis is the solution.

In the Accelerating Shift from Linear to CTV, Advertisers Must Prioritize Progress Over Perfection

Rose McGovern OF DIRECTV shares her insights on the rapid shift from linear to CTV and why advertisers must prioritize progress over perfection in their strategies.

In the Race to Monetize, CTV Publishers Are Missing the Long-term Opportunity

CTV is the hottest opportunity in advertising right now, and everyone wants to make money fast when the opportunity is ripe. Daniel Elad from TheViewPoint discusses how publishers looking to build a foundation for long-term success must use an intelligent, lean-forward approach to demand.

Contextual Targeting: TV Advertising's Next-Level Move

Modern TV advertising is in a growth phase. Advertisers face new challenges as the landscape shifts from broadcast and cable to a new world of AVOD and FAST. Asrah Mohammed of Waymark discusses contextual targeting, a strategy that could help navigate this new landscape.

Why Content Owners and Service Providers Should Embrace SaaS

The SaaS model helps address many headaches for content owners and service providers: launching and updating streaming services quickly, fighting streaming piracy, more efficient and lower carbon video delivery, and the ability to take advantage of new monetization techniques and revenue models.

Beer, Betting, and Streaming, Oh My! A Super Bowl Advertising Analysis

Super Bowl ads, while a relatively small sample, are a decent indicator of trends in overall advertising demand. John Link from AdImpact reviews the last three years, and the trends are clear: a few categories like Crypto and Covid-related PSAs are waning, largely being replaced by new categories like Sports Betting and Streaming, and there is more competition in established categories like QSR and Beer.

The FAST Way for Sports Teams to Better Engage With Fans and Monetize New Opportunities

Rekha Aramuthu Carriere of Amagi writes about the ways that launching a FAST channel can help sports teams achieve better engagement with fans and help monetize new opportunities

Why Broadcasters Need a Swiss Army Knife to Fix Video Advertising

Greg Morrow of Bitcentral looks at how publishers now need a "swiss army knife" of tools to realize their advertising potential. With content spread across so many distribution points and in different forms, publishers now need to integrate a separate toolset for each one to thrive in today's market.

Get Ready - Advertisers Want Sophisticated TV Targeting for Omnichannel Media Buying

Tony Mooney of ThinkAnalytics discusses approaches for optimizing TV behavioral targeting at whatever speed suits the local market or operational constraints.

Why Advertisers Must Embrace OTT Services' Ad-Supported Models in 2023

As the fight for eyeballs intensifies, we are seeing more and more companies diversify their monetization strategies to include ad-supported revenue models that scale their advertising offerings and capabilities. As companies like Disney and Netflix debut ad-supported models, marketers and advertisers can take advantage by integrating themselves into the OTT mix to create campaigns that hook viewers in.