See a short video of some of the highlights of
For those of us in the traditional TV sector, changes can be divided into “positive” and unsettlingly “disruptive.” Here is how they parse out for me:
Measurement Getting More Focused and Transparent
With all of the big and small data sets available and the advanced technology to drive analytics, we are now able to get to the core of consumer tracking behavior instead of relying on age and gender proxies. CIMM’s Jane Clarke believes that there are two big positive trends in measurement: profiling and access. "One big trend is to profile customers based on the data and linking datasets across platforms such as linking purchase data with media use data. The media data revolution started in digital and is now moving into TV,” she said. “The second trend is the proliferation of ways to access data. Planning and buying are evaluating effectiveness across platforms. This is driven by the desire to move away from linear rating points, away from surrogates of age and gender, to target consumers."
Now We Can Measure Sales Funnel Instead of Demographics
Along those lines, we can now attribute actual sales results to specific media campaigns. This frees us to valuate audiences based on actual purchases. Dunnhumby’s Lung Huang explained, “It is all about big data. We are ultimately doing matching exposure to purchase based on a verified household or person. We are taking the guesswork out of it. When Ted Turner first started CNN and it wasn’t rated, he sold ginsu knives. He didn't care about ratings. He wanted to see how many knives he sold. It is freeing today not to be tied to legacy. There are many different audiences and we can show you that they saw the ad and bought [the product.]”
The Long View Is Much More Important
We tend to have a short attention span in the TV business. Facebook’s
Patrick Harris noted, “We tend to overestimate in short term and underestimate in the long term. Where is the content where you are living three years from now? The creative bar has changed. It
is now adding value when it used to be getting attention.”
Is Programmatic Destined to Include TV?
Can we expect programmatic to expand to television any time soon? Visible World’s Seth Haberman says this has already happened. But Beth Rockwood of Discovery believes that “the television business is different in that the inventory is generally tight and therefore enjoys very high CPMs, especially in broadcast.” Meanwhile Dave Morgan of Simulmedia sees both sides, and noted, “If programmatic TV means that a large portion of TV advertising will soon be bought and sold on a data-driven, audience-denomiated basis on metrics other than sex/age demographics, the answer is yes. That day is coming fast. However, if programmatic TV means that TV ads are about to be bought and sold machine-to-machine on a dynamic, real-time auction basis like online display: no. That kind of programmatic TV is years and years away."
Technology Brings Its Own Timing Challenges
Mike Willner of Penthera noted the technological challenge of streaming ad-supported video content: “When you add advertising to downloaded content, it becomes more complicated because of the ad flights. Christmas ads can be streamed on Dec. 24, but viewed on Dec. 26. So we would need to download the next flight of ads. We have technology that helps to do this, we can ID the user and what content they are viewing, and we can coordinate with the advertiser. But we can only upload new ads in a streaming environment, not when [video] is downloaded for future use.”
Despite the dizzying spiral of change, it is possible to carve out a path to assured future television success in the evolving media ecosystem. The secret is to stay on top of the trends and take calculated long-term risks.