Must Multiply TV: NBC Pitches Tool Measuring Reach Across Media
Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBC Universal, says the network is starting a Total Audience Media Interactive research tool. He spoke during NBC's development program meeting with advertising executives in Los Angeles Thursday.
For advertisers, this new tool gives a particular TV show a total viewer number across all of its venues.
Consider one episode the net's hit "Heroes." In its traditional TV format, the show pulled in 16 million total viewers. But add in a repeat episode on Sci-Fi Channel, a streaming video run on the NBC Rewind site, downloads at iTunes Music Store and viewing via PCs with special Intel Viiv technology, and the new total comes to 18.4 million viewers.
Although Wurtzel didn't say how advertisers would use the new measurement system, media analysts believe it is intended to give them more opportunity. Plus, it has the potential to make more money for NBC.
Wurtzel spent a lot of time talking up data to advertisers that combines TV and Internet exposure. In certain conditions, he said adding Internet to TV exposure could increase viewer "reach" by 50%. In fact, NBC is looking at various measurements in the digital age. One of the holy grails for marketers and TV researchers has been data that would follow consumers as they move from media platform to media platform.
Right now, Wurtzel says such research isn't available. But in specially commissioned research with Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI), Wurtzel says 11% of those who watched an episode of "Heroes" on TV also watched it on the Internet. In addition, 9% of those "Heroes" viewers have watched a "Heroes" episode exclusively online, and 10% of viewers have watched one episode twice online.
All this adds to NBC's efforts to expand traditional TV measurement and currency for advertisers. At a recent Las Vegas research event, Wurtzel said NBC made a couple of upfront deals a year ago with Toyota Motor Co., which included engagement metric guarantees from IAG Research. He expects more advertisers will make such deals during the upfront period that starts in six weeks.
Separately, Jeff Gaspin, president of NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content, said NBC.com will become the first broadcast Web site to adopt social-networking tools similar to those on MySpace. It means users can instant message on the same screen while watching NBC shows. This also means having the ability to embed NBC video clips outside the site.
Kevin Reilly, president of NBC Entertainment, offered a dozen or so TV shows in development, including a new version of "The Bionic Woman"; reality show "The Real Wedding Crashers"; a new cop drama called "Fort Pitt," from the makers of "Rescue Me"; and "Lipstick Jungle," a "Sex and the City" kind of show from Candace Bushnell, who authored the book of the same title, about three successful New York City businesswomen.