Commentary

Q&A With Howard Shimmel: Turner's Cross-Platform Study

Howard Shimmel, previously the SVP, Ad Sales Sports Research at Turner Broadcasting, is now Turner's new CRO. With some big shoes left by departing CRO Jack Wakshlag, Shimmel is amply up to the task and will continue Turner's strong tradition of strategic research. In my interview  with him (which can be viewed at this link), Shimmel talks about the role of research, the rollout of segmentation analysis, set-top-box data, Turner’s cross-platform initiative All-Screen and some predictions for the media landscape going forward. Here’s an excerpt.

CW: One of your big initiatives is your cross-platform study called All Screen. Can you tell us some of the specifics?

HS: Sure. There are two separate and distinct things that we are trying to accomplish with All Screen. First, it is really important that the market is able to understand CNN’s true breadth, impact and reach across platforms: TV at home, TV out-of-home, mobile and digital.

If you think about what we get out of N-Power (Nielsen’s custom analytic system), it actually presents a very limited view both in terms of the reach and in terms of the demographic composition of CNN’s audience. So part of All Screen is working with Nielsen’s data integration experts, Pete Doe’s team, to be able to integrate TV in the home from Nielsen, TV viewing out-of-home from Nielsen Audio, previously Arbitron, with our own internal mobile data and our own internal digital server data.

We want to be able to integrate that in a way that we can go to an advertiser and talk about the true reach of CNN across all platforms. In this way we can accurately paint a picture of how different demographics vary in their reaction across all the CNN platforms. For example, mobile is our youngest platform, while digital is a little older. Being able to illustrate that to an agency or client is really important.

The other part of the study is focused around the TV in home and out-of-home. My people in the industry have given considerable thought to how TV usage differs in and out-of-home and how we can measure it.

ESPN/ABC did some great work in the 1980s with this concept. And the fact of the matter is that CNN delivers a fairly material amount of out-of-home TV viewing through our normal linear TV programming. Our approach is that we have taken a subset of All Screen, which is a combination of Nielsen People meter and Nielsen Audio for out-of-home TV, and integrated that together. We have then taken that data and put that into our sales estimate system, so every time we generate a sales plan we are able to show an agency buyer how much additional out-of-home audience we anticipate delivering from the plan.

Then on the backend, we work with MSA to deliver a post-buy assessment, and are able to show the client the actual amount of out-of-home [audiences] we delivered to them. The thought is to use the data actively to calculate true delivery. It is a big part of our upfront discussions.

Every media company is focused on the idea of unmeasured audience. We think that out-of-home TV, if you are in the news and sports space, is a material amount of unmeasured audience. That is why it is so important to us. 

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1 comment about "Q&A With Howard Shimmel: Turner's Cross-Platform Study".
  1. Matthew Greene from WiOffer , July 22, 2014 at 8:20 a.m.
    Howard - I'd love to see this study as I'm concerned that ALL the networks, including CNN, do not incorporate the 'actions' taken by mobile viewers of TV programming and factor those actions into their respective research analytics. With media consumption on mobile being second to TV, in terms of time spent consuming media on smartphones and tablets, there's an awful lot of under-reporting and 'other' datasets lost to the idea of generating a true cross-platform understanding of media viewing patterns.