Commentary

Patience: New TV/Digital Currency Still Not Here

Your future TV/digital currency is still a year or two away. What will traditional media, new digital media, and marketers do until then?

Cobbling together different metrics seems to be the only way.

And then you will also have TV marketers who want their first-party data to be considered in the mix. More cobbling. And what about evaluating one’s first-party data against the first-party data of competitors -- and over what duration? It’s getting complicated.

For many, there is way too much media and marketing data to sift through. But, as one veteran media researcher told TV Watch: “You still need to look at almost everything.” That’s because no one wants to miss anything.  

Near-term, Nielsen is working on its Total Audience measurement that looks to include all linear, time-shifted, video-on-demand, and digital airings into one easy-to-digest format. For its part, comScore says it is readying its  “cross-platform” service as well. And if Nielsen and comScore don’t meet your needs, others, like TiVo, are perhaps looking to gain entry.

Until then, TV network executives will continue to repeat a refrain, especially during this upfront period: There is almost no value in looking at a TV show’s first night of viewership.

That said, some media agency executives disagree, saying live program/same day ratings can be a decent -- not-perfect --  next-day proxy of where a show’s C3 ratings will be, the average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time shifting.

This is valuable because C3 ratings can take a couple of weeks to be delivered after an TV episode has aired. (For its part, Nielsen says it will speed up this release schedule).

Ponder whether others will join Fox’s move of no longer releasing live-program plus same-day viewing data. Instead, Fox releases TV episode viewing estimates over a period including three days, seven days, and beyond.

Fox wants to get paid for all its viewership from TV marketers — as do all as all TV content providers.

Look for TV networks to get even more creative this upfront season when it comes to figuring out metrics that will encompass all linear, time shifted and digital viewing.

Media researchers have been moaning the lack of real cross-platform ratings for nearly five years now. The real deal to come? Maybe 2017, or 2018, or -- take a breath.

Correction: Yesterday's TV Watch,  “Early National TV Ad Reading: Bigger Upfront Results?,”   mis-reported how much auto ad budgets increased in March. According to Standard Media Index, the uptick was 21% over the same month a year ago.

1 comment about "Patience: New TV/Digital Currency Still Not Here ".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 26, 2016 at 5:38 p.m.

    Wayne, it's not just a question of whether the time frame is three days, seven days or much longer after the telecast date, the real problem is how do you get comparable viewing, not just device usage, data for all of the possible digital options that viewers may use to access and watch TV shows. Also, you must have a nationally projectable sample, not just one based on a DVR panel or a set-top-box panel. So far, there is much speculation about turning to alternative sources and I wish them luck, however most of this is just pressure designed to force Nielsen into quicker action. In this case, haste may breed waste.

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