Commentary

TV Sellers Need Better Data Connections

Massive media agency holding companies are doing all they can to buy and/or align themselves with data companies with consumer first-party and other behavior research.

Should TV advertising sellers -- TV networks and programmers -- do the same?

Take AT&T. Its WarnerMedia will seemingly benefit from AT&T’s communications/broadband and other businesses. AT&T touts that its 170 million “consumer interactions” are a value data resource.

What about other media sellers -- like Walt Disney and NBCUniversal? Should they align themselves with a big data resources or companies? Sounds great. But are there can be conflicts.

For example, at AT&T, if T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon are looking for a media schedule, does AT&T help those marketers with its own competitive data when they want to buy a media schedule on TBS, TNT and CNN?

For its part, Omnicom’s takes a different role than its media agency competitors when it comes to data company ownership. It abides by a long-standing philosophy of renting versus owning tech and data.

CEO John Wren told analysts: “Our systems have always been open and unbiased. ... We don't need to own [data] to connect to data on behalf of our clients.”

TV networks might have to decide whether to abide by that same philosophy for its clients or mull more first-party consumer behavior data ownership connections.

TV networks continue to complain about media measurement from Nielsen and others, especially when it comes to finding easy access to cross-platform metrics.

Amazon may be a growing TV advertising seller, hoping its first-party data offers a deep-data resource for marketers to buy when it comes to advertising on its video platform. For many analysts, that’s strong attraction for growth.

Right now, many TV network groups are already offering their own measurements when it comes to consumption of their shows.

Earlier this year, CBS considered dropping Nielsen for measurement of TV audiences, hinting that perhaps it didn’t need this “currency” any longer. In part, this was another swing at Nielsen -- a long-running complaint from TV networks -- that its measurement value isn’t what it once was. 

Factor in Nielsen's continued pursuit of a “strategic review” --  in terms of being sold or selling off parts of its business. Also, that Comscore many not be at a full competitive level to Nielsen yet, and you have traditional TV/media companies scratching their heads.

Right now, there are four major TV network groups in a consortium, Open AP, looking for new audience targets the industry can support. It's also started its own cross-media selling platform -- all to compete with digital media.

Consider what comes next: deeper measurement and data investment?

1 comment about "TV Sellers Need Better Data Connections".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 22, 2019 at 8:41 a.m.

    Wayne, this is a very tricky subject as the motives of the time sellers are, to say the least, suspect. For example,unless it's changed, Open Ap does not allow buyers to compare the offers of one seller against the others and it's core targeting tool is seller-friendly  househod set usage used as a surrogate for "viewing" with the resuting indices applied against Nielsen "viewing" ratings. In both cases the deck is heavily stacked in the seller's favor. Also, regarding the ratings, themselves, whether it's sold or not, Nielsen has no effective competition where TV audience measurement is concerned. So all of this talk about having access to or owning "data" must be referring primarily to buying digital media and, in some cases, to helping brands in analyzing their users constituencies---not "linear TV" time buying, which, on a national basis, is still proceding more or less as before. Sure, there is "addressable TV", "advanced TV" and OTT, and yes, these can use "data" , but for the most part, old fashioned time buying still rules. This will, of course, change---eventually-----which is what everyone hopes for---but the pace of change is still very slow.

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