Still, Jane Clarke, CEO-managing director of Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, speaking with TV Watch, says: “We are making progress. The business owners have gotten a lot more interested in driving the solutions.” Previously, many efforts around cross-platform measurement had been steered by research executives.
One key improvement, she says, comes with Comcast Corp. which has long been reluctant to give up any content and advertising data to third parties. Now things have changed:
“They are giving their advertising exposure data for free to 30 attribution providers because they realize there is a very positive story in helping television compete with Facebook.”
But not with content data.
“They don’t want to give up their content data measurement because they don’t want [competing] national TV networks to have the same information they have at the negotiating table for content carriage,” she adds.
Nielsen and other third-party measurement companies have had a tough time accounting for all digital TV messaging -- when it comes to installing software onto OTT platforms. Clarke says: “It’s easier to tag the advertising than it is getting all the SDKs into content apps.”
A new TV attribution white paper released at the CIMM video cross-platform measurement event touts best practices and “a provider guide.”
Clarke says better TV attribution can measure specific TV commercials, which can reveal different values for the first commercial in a three-minute pod versus one place in the middle of the total commercial break.
With regard to TV attribution, some vendors are better in specific advertising areas than others, she says. “The trouble is, we don’t have a complete, nationally representative data set that works for all advertisers.”
Panel measurement of TV remains an issue -- which strikes at Nielsen. Clarke says Nielsen can do good work when it comes to the top 50 to 100 channels, but beyond that it is difficult. “A panel is just too small to measure fragmented media.”
Here’s one example why TV measurement continues to be difficult in the near term. Clarke cites one TV content company needing to create content for 68 different platforms, including Roku, Sling and others.
“They have to get the data back -- and they don’t always get that. Then they have to combine that with data from Nielsen.”
Lastly, Clarke says they would also need to combine that data with marketers' data, should they want attribution.“The level of complexity is not getting simpler,” she says. “And then the goal posts keep moving. How can we keep adding [and measuring] platforms where we are can watch video?”