Study: In Growing Digital Media World, GRPs Still Important

Watching-TV-AAWhile all those new media measures and metrics are needed in a new digital media world, gross ratings points -- GRPs -- will be around for a while.

"Although deeper digital data sets can allow marketers to plan and buy smarter TV campaigns, the sheer scale of TV advertising spend and its ingrained processes and systems give GRPs the leverage they need to remain the core currency for TV and online video," says a report written by Michael Glantz by Forrester Research.

This is not to say that new marketing and media executives will not be looking for new metrics. Also of special importance is how to mix in new metrics and measures. "Skill at weaving together meaningful data sets to see the big TV picture will separate the leaders from the laggards," says the study.

Forrester says GRPs no longer provide complete coverage for marketers because they only measure age and gender in a world of digital detail, are a backward-looking metric, and face digital video platforms that can already target audiences beyond the basic.

Right now the key word is "scale" -- something traditional TV has in droves -- which works in GRP's favor. 

Audiences still watch TV in near-record numbers, the report says, and TV attracts the lion’s share of most marketing budgets. Forrester's estimates are that TV advertising revenues were 76.6 billion in 2011, with digital video ad sales at $2.1 billion.

Traditional TV will continue to rise -- to $82.6 million in 2012 and then $88.6 billion in 2013. 

Digital video advertising revenue will climb to $2.9 billion by the end of this year and then reach $3.9 million by the end of 2013.

Consumers are watching video in new ways, with multitasking the norm -- and that will further push the new metrics.

Glantz says 74% of U.S. consumers report that they multitask -- up from 58% in 2011 -- with social adding new layers of engagement. One key factor is that fractionalization of media creates a strong need for cross-media platform metrics.

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