Can legacy TV networks feel a little better about the current scatter-market doldrums? Perhaps they can take a cue from Amazon’s recent results.
Amazon grew its advertising revenue 23% year-over-year in the first quarter for a total of $9.5 billion, beating expectations.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy says demand-side platform (DSP) “machine learning technology” helps serve up and deliver “unusually strong” results for brands.
In a rough comparison -- and by that we recognize that it may be comparing small and mid-size markets to that of big brand advertisers -- NBCUniversal earlier in the weak said core advertising results for the first quarter were down 6.1%.
Yes, we recognize that legacy TV media still doesn't have all the digital tools at its disposal -- or an ongoing smaller-to-medium-sized marketer client base that digital-first media companies have been benefiting from.
On Thursday, on the 102nd floor of One World Trade Center at One World Observatory, a Joint Industry Committee (JIC) -- legacy TV networks and media agency holding companies -- met to wrestle to the ground how to better serve both parties when it comes to establishing new measurement standards and “currencies” to best operate in a modern digital world.
Topics now at the forefront -- including “engagement,” “ROI”(return on media investment),” “identity graphs,” “impressions” and other concerns that have been debated and talked about over the last several years -- were again open for discussion.
Speaking with TV Watch, Sean Muller, founder and CEO of iSpot.tv, says he believes the problem has been that legacy TV media companies have been looking to extend reach and their currency effort from a linear TV perspective.
This must be flipped the other way around, he says -- starting from a digital media point of view: “We need to create a digital-first currency that extends to linear TV. We need to leave this old linear TV system.”
That system is set to see a major change next year starting in September 2024 -- when Nielsen will abandon its decades-long Nielsen Television Index (NTI) data system in favor of its big new Nielsen One platform. This will include big-time digital and other data melded in with Nielsen's long-established but highly scrutinized 40,000-something-household panel-base measurement.
But that's not fast enough for some. There is still a hurry-up approach -- especially on the part of long-suffering media sellers -- to get to new measurement and currencies.
Donna Speciale, president of advertising sales and marketing at TelevisaUnivision, repeated the concerns of those networks with underserved audiences -- and she does not want to wait until September 2024.
“Whether it is us or Telemundo, or all the multicultural agencies, they are not getting the right data,” she says. “So the results are not there. So the spending isn’t there.. We are playing catch-up for decades of invisibility in this area. So we can’t wait any longer. We can’t wait a year.”
This follows a returning to growth in revenues at Meta Platforms. It all seems to be a new positive trend reversing the short dip in digital media advertising of late.
One can understand the recent rush to fix things soon. Perhaps traditional TV networks also see this as a pressing call to action -- or to take up arms, figuratively speaking.
At the same JIC event, Paramount Global President of Advertising John Halley offered this, with regard to the industry's Media Rating Council, which gives accreditation to measurement services as a requirement for being a trading currency: “Saying that JIC certification should require MRC accreditation just doesn't really make sense. In my mind, it is sort of weaponizing the MRC. There's no other way to look at it.”