Media Insights Q&A With Tony Jarvis
Among his many observations, Jarvis says that in the near future, "We will see in many media (currencies) a move away from the single-source approach, which really does not work anymore, to multiple data sources being integrated and modeled."
On the future of research, he notes, "In an increasingly digital, return-path-data world, research's role is going to become more important in terms of driving revenue and shareholder value -- but it can only be [so] if [research] is founded on quality, transparency and relevance, [with] the resulting accountability that such measurement and analytics will generate."
Links to the full interview videos can be found at http://weislermedia.blogspot.com/2009/11/q-interview-with-tony-jarvis.html Here is an excerpt:
Charlene Weisler: There has been a lot of talk recently about the quality of data. How do you think businesses can discern good research from bad? What are your recommendations?
Tony Jarvis: I don't know if many businesses do a good job of that, because we've see a dramatic reduction in the number of people in the research area.... We have not only lost analysts and methodologists, we've lost the gatekeepers. And with a lot of experience in working in so many dimensions in this business, I am very disheartened and very sad and very concerned to see a continuing demise and diminishing quality in the data that is out there when it's been made for major decisions.
If we are going to make a twenty- or thirty-thousand-dollar decision, we don't need to do very fancy research. When you look at some of the multi-million-dollar brands, when you look at the media currencies out there on which billions of dollars are being exchanged, it's a great concern that the quality is not there today.
Obviously I've been heavily involved in the MRC, which has played a vital role in trying to maintain the quality, particularly of our syndicated data in the U.S. I think it's been a struggle for them. I think it's been a struggle for the industry -- but I am certainly committed to high quality. In fact, I was actually named the MRC Quality Sheriff recently -- unofficially, of course -- of which I am very, very proud.
CW: Tony, let's talk a little bit about set-top-box data. What are your views?
TJ: Set-top-box data, in terms of multi-screen measurement, today is absolutely fundamental --certainly to what we consider traditional broadcast traditional screens.
MRC is probably going to be looking at that arena. I think the involvement of MRC would enhance and help the quality and help us all understand what needs to be done in the set-top box-arena.
This gets interesting because with the whole CIMM coalition being announced, I suspect that they would in fact also drive advances in methodology techniques with set-top-box data, possibly in some kind of relationship or liaison with the MRC. That is something that is going to be very interesting to follow.
CIMM follows, if you will, the screens -- which some people have suggested is three and I would suggest is four. It's not three screens, there is a fourth screen. It's called digital out-of-home (or place-based).
I know that in some digital out-of-home there is only advertising, but a lot of digital out-of-home is now carrying programming, which again could interest the networks and the cable companies. So, set-top-box data -- very, very important. Perhaps short-lived in terms of the long-term vision because I think set-top boxes are actually going to go away in five to ten years. It's all going to come off the Internet, and you won't have a box. But still, very important for the next five to ten years.
CW: What are your views on the evolution of radio now that it has the opportunity to have a platform online?
TJ: That should be [the] making [of] radio because it's such a phenomenal opportunity, as everybody and everything is going digital. Here again, it's about measurement.
Alan Wurtzel (President Research, NBCU) is a great proponent (of measurement): "If you can't measure it, I can't sell it."So it's got to be measured, meaningfully and with quality - comparable quality to PPM - to be able to monetize it and if it can be monetized, then I think it will explode.
It is already changing the radio landscape. People who move from San Diego to New York can already listen to their favorite station in San Diego. I, in fact, listen to Classic FM London, England and here I am in New York.
So I happily listen to my London radio station and I'm sure that I am not alone. I still think that radio has a wonderful, wonderful future. We've got to get through this economy and we have to get our heads around the PPM issue, which is the salvation of radio -- not only from a sales perspective to monetize it but also from a programming perspective....