Predictions For 2020: Something Old, Something New

It is repetitive to note that we are an industry in transition but, perhaps, not as common to say there might be things that will stay exactly the same. After polling some executives and taking into account what I have seen, I’ll suggest these possible trends for 2020:

Going (Even More) Global
With the further advancement of datasets, ways to interpret trends and the perfect storm of privacy legislation from GDPR, CCPA and others, there should be a greater shift to more universal best business practices and global insights. I personally see a greater combination of hyper-local, regional, national and worldwide media confluence on a business, technological and creative side.

This could be accelerated by the move from GRPs to impressions measurement that should link all platforms onto a common metric, the increase in interest in international content consumption (Think: HBO Nordic) and maybe somewhat by ATSC 3.0 which will continue to roll out, albeit very slowly.



There will be expansion in OOH as well. “More ‘nontraditional’ out-of-home companies are tapping into the opportunities to monetize their screens and audiences,” noted Michael Provenzano, CEO, Vistar Media, who added, “From vending machines (Vengo) to EV charging stations (Volta) to kiosks of all sorts (KeyMe) to gym equipment (Life Fitness), new types of hardware and service providers are incorporating OOH into their operations, while new types of venues, from sports entertainment facilities (TopGolf) to cannabis dispensaries (Enlightened), are connecting advertisers with their unique audiences.”

For some, the many datasets available will lead to a more global measurement approach. “There has been a wide expansion of the number of research companies producing data and metrics for a wide range of media insights,” according to Paul Lindstrom, head of research and analytics, Tunity. “2020 will (bring) new ways of understanding consumers and viewers will be ingrained into the current system of media planning and buying in more holistic ways than ever before, where insights become a part of the advertising currency.”

Increasing Complexity and Simplification of Ad Markets
With more complex choices to reach consumers there will also be more unification. From business consolidations connecting various properties to measurement systems that automate and link various sources, media is at once converging and multiplying. As Tom Xenos, director, advanced TV, Omnicom Media Group, asserted, “Advanced TV advertising will grow as the analysis of data becomes more automated and plays a key role in decision-making.”

OTT will also expand, according to Hanna Gryncwajg, vice president of enterprise accounts for TVSquared, who stated, "In 2020, OTT will scale as it becomes a regular, trusted part of the video mix that can be consistently measured and optimized for performance, alongside linear.” She also sees that “Advertisers will bring OTT and linear measurement together in a single platform, evaluating performance across devices and breaking it down by days, dayparts, channels, genres, creatives, and then using those insights to consistently optimize."

For Jane Clarke, managing director/CEO, CIMM, the infrastructure of measurement will advance in 2020. She predicted, “Progress will be made on standardizing ad identifiers throughout the media ecosystem (that will) inch closer to real-time measurement,” while “pilot tests of DAI on smart TVs will begin to evolve into commercial offerings,” and “manufacturers will begin to incorporate DAI technology into television sets.”

Technological Change May Slow Down
As much as we anticipate great technological changes to continue, such changes may not occur as fast as we expect. Take for example cloud technology. Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Amazon has reversed its long-time policy of only offering cloud software services and is now pushing hybrid cloud systems and hardware.  

Why? Because many businesses are not moving to the cloud as quickly as Amazon predicted -- and further, some never will. It is possible that business' capacity to incorporate new technology may reach a temporary saturation point this year and adoption will slow until business practices can catch up.

Some believe that social media may hit a brief wall. “Why? Because fewer people are using social and/or are likely to decrease their usage during the upcoming election year,” posited Mike Menkes, senior vice president, Analytic Partners. In addition, “Ad costs for social are going up. Brands should keep a close eye on their metrics and adjust spend based on where their users will be spending their time.”

4 comments about "Predictions For 2020: Something Old, Something New".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 14, 2020 at 9:24 a.m.

    Charlene, as I have pointed out on another forum, the main points about spot TV switching to a common metric for digital and "linear TV", namely "impressions"--- as opposed to ratings--- are that this allows the stations to bundle their small number of digital "impressions"---page views?---with their TV audiences and also, that it counts "TV eyeballs" that are reached for shows whose ratings are  low---less than .5%---which nielsen doesn't report due to the very small panel sizes it is forced to use in most local markets.

    Let's take these one by one. As regards the digital "impressions", who is going to measure these---the stations? And what counts as a digital "impression"---is it  a" page view" that lasts for at least two seconds? Is that realy comparable to a TV commercial aired from start to fininsh on the screen of someone's TV set?

    More important, is the rating vs "impressions" issue for "linear TV". Long ago, when average ratings were quite high, it was decided that the local market ratings would be reported in whole percentages----that means that it's either a 1 or a 2 or a 3, not 1.1 or 2.3 or 3.4---as is done with the national TV ratings where sample sizes are far larger than local. As a result, it is quite possible that a show which has a rating of .4% will be reported as a hashmark in the rating column but have a handfull of viewers---"impressions" ----which the stations want to get credit for and monetize. However, if the sample size for the rating is deemed too small for valid  reporting isn't this also true for the "impressions" for the same show, which are simply projections from the few homes that were found to be tuned in?It's not a "new" metric".

    Since the stations can't---or won't---pay for proper sized sample sizes and are stuck with a lots of unstable audience projections as a result, the obvious solution was to pressure Nielsen to report all ratings down to the decimal point---just like its national ratings---even though the sample bases are too small for reliable or stable measurement when the ratings fall below certain levels. That way, the buyers could continue trying to meet the planners' GRP goals---even if the data isn't so accurate---without the tedious step of converting the equally dubious "impressions" stats back into GRPs once the buy goes down. As for the digital impressions, if you actually believe that 2+ seconds on-screen is a comparable measurement to"linear TV"'s "impressions---good luck on that----all you have to do is divide your digital "impressions" by the population base and you have GRPs.

    Instead of keeping it simple, what we now have is a needless complication and certainly not an improvement.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, January 14, 2020 at 3:04 p.m.

    I actually think that it is not so much that "There has been a wide expansion of the number of research companies producing data and metrics for a wide range of media insights" but rather that there has been an expansion of the number of data companies producing what they call research and insights.

  3. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, January 28, 2020 at 3:33 p.m.

    The industry is now in the era of "Impressions Wars" media platform by media platform which, based on each media platform's very different measurement methodologies, ensures the impressions reported for each media platform are not equal.  They therfore have very different value for advertisers and their media agencies. 
    Charlene: As agreed by John Grono and I believe as supported by Ed Papazian, until there is truly harmonized comparable audience measurement across all media platforms, ideally based on contacts or eyes-on, there is no "common metric".  Period!!
    As Erwin Ephron would remind us, especially in today's digital/internet environment, it is the reach of the target within limited time periods (propinquity) which is the most important part of the fundmantal GRP media planning metric not the frequency - which is impression driven.  As he told us, frequency is the crab grass of a campaign.  I suggest that established fundamental media research, planning and buying principles are still valid and surely even more important in today's media mix and currency comparisons than ever.  Ignore me if you will but please listen to Ed or John.

  4. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 28, 2020 at 3:54 p.m.

    Adding to what Tony and John have said as well as my own comments, it is instructive to note what the effects of audience size---however determined---have been in the past. The TV stations believe that if they can puff up their "audiences"--which, by the way, are quarter hour total audiences , including people who zap commercials, as opposed to average commercial minute audiences as used in national TV----that this will cause advertisers to spend more with them. Magazines believed the same thing when they pushed for "recent reading" audience measurements rather than "through the book" studies as recent reading gave them credit for 50-100% more readers. Did this result in more ad spending? We know the answer---don't we? Actually once advertisers determined that they could attain their GRP/reach goals with fewer ad insertions---due to much higher readership findings---they cut back and diverted the "savings" to fund TV rate increases. And what about radio? When PPMs replaced diaries and reported 25-30% lower audiences, did the stations reduce their ad rates? Nope. Did radio ad spending suddenly decline due to "lower" listenership"? Nope.

    My point is that mere audience size is not necessarily the determining factor---except within a medium when buyers actually execute a media plan. Here, it can be important to distinguish between one seller and another based on size of audience---reach potential--as well as demographics, editorial content and other factors. But deciding to use a medium, in its totality as part of a media mix, involves many other considerations. By trying to increase their "audiences" slightly by including digital "impressions" and adding scraps of dubiously measured "linear TV" audiences for programs with ratings below .5%, the stations may find that advertisers who buy into these machinations will be able to attain their GRP goals with fewer spots---as happened with magazines----and, rather than spending more, they may buy fewer commercial placements. Food for thought?

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