With services like Hulu and Netflix as well as VOD, smart, connected and gaming devices it’s hard to tell where TV stops and video begins.
And to most viewers it really doesn’t matter, says George Musi, svp and head of analytics and insights at Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia. “It’s all TV to them,” Musi told a crowd attending the MediaPost TV Insider Summit on Wednesday in New Paltz, NY.
What does matter, said Musi, is that the industry gets its act together on the measurement front to fully realize the potential and opportunities of all the new entry points consumers have to access video content.
All those entry points now constitute what Musi described as complex “maze” that makes it difficult to realize that full potential, given the “inaccurate and incomplete measurement” of the audiences dispersed throughout the fragmented video landscape.
“It’s critical to get the measurement right,” Musi said, in order to “understand audiences holistically.”
Targeting precise audiences is increasingly a laser focus of marketers, Musi said. And new audience streams are popping up all the time — audiences that have to be measured, like those watching content (increasingly) in cars. And in the connected home, devices like refrigerators are starting to have built-in screens. And viewers to them have to be counted.
The problem is that the gap between the expanding array of entry points and the industry’s ability to keep up from a measurement standpoint is widening, said Musi. And it’s pretty hard to plan media for devices that aren’t measured. Thus while viewing behavior change continues to accelerate measurement change continues at a “snail’s pace.” The further the industry falls behind, the harder it will be to catch up. And for marketers trying to move the sales needle, that’s not a good thing, said Musi.
Musi cited the need for a cohesive measurement platform that will likely combine some form of panel and census approach that is capable of bridging the entire spectrum of video viewing entry points—a platform that can “properly value each piece.”
“TV is good at adapting,” Musi said. He noted that 80% of both Netflix and Hulu content is being consumed via TV screens. Now the industry has to step up on the measurement front. The risk of not doing so is that “the divide increases so much we can’t transcend it.”