The average home has 10-12 devices, not including linear TV -- which has made measuring and monitoring what people watch infinitely more difficult compared to a time when people primarily sat in front of live TV. Currently, only 20% of TV watched by teens is live.
Now both comScore and Nielsen are introducing new strategies to better measure viewers, according to company reps on a panel Thursday during the 4As Transformation Conference in Miami.
In the new measurement era, the idea of “TV households” is rapidly becoming obsolete. ComScore now calls homes "devices" because of the rising flow of content streams pouring in and out of dwelling units from a plethora of gadgets. With its recent merger with Rentrak, however, the company believes it is well equipped to track and document all viewing, said comScore CEO Serge Matta.
And all the data provides a more detailed picture of who is watching, said Matta. “Instead of targeting 18- to-34-year-olds, we can now target 18- to-34-year-olds who are going to vote for Hillary and drive an Audi Q4," he says.
Also with a new partnership with Adobe, comScore will "ingest data from an analytics cross platform," says Matta. The results will roll out in phases with the first coming in April that will plot advanced demographics. "What car you bought, what you buy at the grocery store, how you vote in national election," says Matta. “We are putting all the pieces together."
comScore will also introduce more enhanced metrics in the second quarter, and in the third quarter, the company will report daily cross-platform information gathered on a census basis for TV and digital, and overlay this information with basic and advanced insights.
The results from early testing should be reassuring to traditional media. "Everyone feared that linear TV was declining," says Matta. "That is absolutely not happening. What is happening with fragmentation is actually viewing is increasing with other devices. It's on phones, over-the-top devices."
The next frontier is tackling ad blocking, says Matta. "It will happen probably early this year or the next. But first building blocks have to happen. [We need to figure out] what do people watch on every single device and then we can get into the ads."
Meanwhile, Nielsen is refining its measurement system to better reflect today's viewing environment.
All TV clients now have access to time-shifted and data measurement, while most media buyers will have similar access shortly.
Nielsen is also incorporating panel and census insights and is working on measurement of connected devices. More recently, Nielsen has started enhancing its core TV rating, providing daily program ratings through a full week of DVR watching.
In August, Nielsen will begin reporting ratings from day 7 to 35 on a weekly basis. "This gives the industry the flexibility to transact however it wants," says Nielsen's Lynda Clarizio.