TV Marketers: C3 Or C7? Whatever Works For You

TV marketers, it’s time to put on your big-boy pants and figure out future TV metrics.

C3 or C7? You choose. Don't you already make a choice whether you buy adults 18-49 or adults 25-54 or adults 18-34, or just men or women in those adult viewer groups?

You can understand how the networks feel. Estimate are they can perhaps gain 4% improvement in viewership  -- and the same level in overall advertising revenue, if the U.S. national TV world changed its currency to C7 from C3.

That means the difference between C3 and C7 -- in upfront terms -- comes to an extra $350 million for the broadcast networks; perhaps another $300 million for cable networks.

Some retailers -- still a big national TV ad category -- currently don't like C3. Adding four more time-shifting days where their commercials will most likely be fast-forwarded won't help in convincing them to make any changes.



C3 -- commercial ratings plus three days of time shifting -- was always seen as a compromise. Turns out that C3 ratings are virtually comparable to live plus same day ratings. And so everyone was happy -- kind of.

Five years removed from that moment in time -- with still-declining TV ratings for many cable networks as well as competing media platforms vying for attention -- traditional network and media executives are looking for a bit of an edge.

Many TV marketers actually want to skip another step to an addressable advertising model -- or true cross-platform metrics, including video-on-demand. But just like in 1997 with commercial ratings, this future technology sn't available now for any decent scale. (Commercial ratings became the industry standard in 2007).

We all like the ideas of metric standards, which provide a benchmark for different types of advertisers to analyze. But as digital media providers have intoned in recent years, we may be looking at an age where metrics truly become more individualized. Here's to C-whatever.

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