According to Navin, “Samba is uniquely able to measure the audience across all screens holistically, so that media companies can effectively sell their entire audience and advertisers can more accurately plan their media across screens.”
Then there’s the issue of ad avoidance:
Charlene Weisler: Generally speaking, what percentage of ads are avoided?
Ashwin Navin: On major networks during prime time, we have found that as much as 45% of ads are not being viewed because of ad skipping. This will be a big theme for next year: What shows, genres and dayparts are most susceptible to ad avoidance.
Weisler: What types of shows are more susceptible to ad skipping?
Navin: Strong themes are emerging from the data. Daytime versus prime time, news, sports, comedy, live, debates — interesting trends are emerging that will drive media spend in the future.
Daytime soaps and news, family/kids programming are generally consumed live, as are sports and news of course.
The challenges are in dramas, especially in the first two seasons of a new show as the audience develops. There is more cross-platform viewing and time shifting, and therefore ad skipping. But should that drama become more popular over time, and as it becomes a water-cooler conversation topic, live viewership starts to build as viewers are more concerned about spoiler alerts. By season five of a good show, the live audience grows significantly.
Weisler: How do you see ads performing across platforms with your data?
Navin: Most of our clients are advertisers. Our data typically helps prove that TV advertising by itself reaches the most people with a story that builds brand awareness.
With the addition of digital advertising reaching the same audience on TV, we see that 1+1=3. When someone has seen the brand on both TV and digital, there is dramatically more brand recall, engagement and conversion. Our data helps segment the audience between TV exposed and unexplored, and then makes these segments addressable with the right strategy.
Weisler: How do you keep ahead of the data trends?
Navin: First and foremost, we are a company with an engineering focus. We have about three engineers for every one salesperson, and that ratio works really well for keeping our innovation engine running strong. We can keep pushing the envelope as to what is possible, and a singular focus on device-level data is helpful.
Device-level data will become the currency of the future because it is NOT tied to any particular content delivery mechanism.
To measure over-the-air TV 40 years ago, we used a meter. To measure 500 channels on cable TV, we shifted to cable set-top0box data.
Now, with OTT services, connected TV devices, DVRs, TV Everywhere apps, traditional measurement won’t suffice. Content recognition across connected devices generates data that much more accurately describes the highly fragmented media landscape we live in today. It also becomes the foundation for highly precise audience segmentation, as well as deterministic attribution models.
Weisler: Where do you see the media industry going in the next five years?
Navin: We absolutely believe that the consumer landscape will be much more fragmented in the future than it is today. Consumers have absolute control over their media, and fragmentation is the new normal.
The measurement challenge will be more pronounced, and the methodology surrounding C3 viewership, with audiences described by age and gender brackets will start to feel inadequate. Media will be described much more precisely in the future, and TV advertising will be priced on a performance basis across every screen the consumer has available to consume video.