There is no denying the splash NBCUniversal made after debuting what is considered to be the pioneering one-size-fits-all advertising metric, unifying audience exposure across traditional and digital media platforms.
Chatter on whether brands and agencies will accept a common currency, like CFlight, and debate on what the life expectancy for standardized metrics will be in the midst of digitization have saturated the industry.
NBCUniversal’s is making an authentic bid to better standardize impressions, but the shelf-life of a metric devised by a traditional broadcast powerhouse won’t outlive the impact of digital. Today’s notion of a common currency will undergo a handful of permutations with the introduction of future consumer platforms and digital’s increasing clout.
Earlier in May, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported revenue from digital advertising in 2017 reached $88 billion, increasing by a massive 21% from the year before. But in this same age, linear broadcasters continue to rely on legacy technology to carry out their media sales workflows. An immediate adoption of CFlight, if we are to see this happen, would steer media companies away from innovation.
However, digital advertising’s profitability is the writing on the wall that a modernized metric is key to knowing every type of audience.
Thus, a currency developed by the broadcasting side isn’t the most future-proofed method in measuring tomorrow’s advertising impressions. We’ll see about three or four standards developed in the short term – possibly including Nielsen – and as time unfolds, either one will emerge as the leader. Or, they will morph into a form that can measure digital advertising’s strengthening impact.
NBC Universal’s decision alongside recent deals in the traditional media space – like ABC’s bid into Fox and the AT&T-Time Warner deals – are accelerated responses to the Facebook and Google duopoly. They need to rival expanded content capabilities, distribution potential and more measurable impressions.
There is no cap to what broadcasters can do with digital media platforms, unlike TV, and insights delivered from such campaigns yield more quantifiable metrics, allowing advertisers to devise better targeted strategies.
This atmosphere warrants traditional TV/broadcast to outline initiatives to level the playing field when delivering metrics to brands. I applaud any movement in this direction, but it’s not entirely fair for one side of the business – that’s regularly being measured – to make the ruler.
Alternatively, third-party tech vendors could be the compromise the industry needs to develop a true, one-size-fits-all common currency.
Technology has established a colossal footing in the advertising industry, especially in the era of digitization. Brands and media companies alike are relying on outside technology for automated media buying/selling, customer relationship management and generated campaign analytics. These vendors are involved in all steps of the advertising workflow on both sides of the party and work across the boundaries of linear and digital platforms.
Further introduction of emerging content platforms will require new strategies to accurately measure audience exposure. The industry will recognize technology’s scope in casting a far-reaching spotlight on cross-platform measurements.
Digital is reshaping the current media landscape at an exponential rate by introducing new and exciting consumer platforms. The need for a unifying advertising metric that bridges consumer impressions across traditional and digital channels is stronger than ever — we’re entering an exciting phase where these metrics are being sketched for the first time in history!
Additional contributions from key industry players will help mold a common currency that will set the stage for the most targeted consumer experiences yet.