Commentary

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.

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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.”

2 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.

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