Multiple Media Currencies: No Apples-To-Apples Models, Missing Benchmarks?

Waiting on multiple or alternative currencies when buying TV-video time to arrive neatly on your media planning and buying doorstep?

Bring out the chaise lounge. You'll have a long wait.

A new 4As report says we have a long way to go -- especially now that four major currency vendors are talking to the Media Rating Council for accreditation -- something that could take years.

One central point for media agencies and their advertiser clients: That contracts with any of those currency providers may prohibit direct comparison of results among currency providers.

What if a TV-video network seller has a strong measurement association with, for example, VideoAmp over iSpot, or Nielsen, or Comscore?

And if a brand then walks in with their own preference? Perhaps the brand and network might agree.



But how do we really connect the dots in terms of whether it could have performed differently via another process?

You might be even more confused now.

Currently, we hear from any TV network/streaming executives who welcome all advertisers and brands with their most favored currency -- along with their first-party data in tow.

But the bottom line for any impending negotiation can then get fuzzy. 

For example, how does a brand compare for each different currency when it comes to the same program? And what about comparison to the same non-exclusive program across different results across TV networks and streamers?

Overall, the 4As also are concerned that multiple currencies without a comparative standard/baseline currency rate could lead to inaccurate and inconsistent methodologies for measurement.

The problem is that this marketplace is not waiting around. The decades-long, one-currency/one-standard way of Nielsen-measured media wheeling and dealing has been eroding for a while now, which means some brands will continue to need to spitball at times.

Your brand competitor may have a better plan -- full of better, more detailed outcome results.

Meanwhile, the media ground under our feet continues to move.

2 comments about "Multiple Media Currencies: No Apples-To-Apples Models, Missing Benchmarks?".
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  1. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, March 15, 2024 at 3 p.m.

    "Multiple Media Currencies" for a medium or for that matter any particular category is, of course, a contradiction in terms!  Currency for a medium is singular, albeit there are usually and often invaluable ancillary data sources available to enhance the industry agreed currency metrics for planning, buying or selling of that medium, e.g., VideoAmp or iSpot to "enhance" Nielsen?
    As Ed Papazian, Richard Marks, John Grono, myself and other media research cognoscente warned when this farrago began, "multiple or alternate currencies" for TV/Video, or indeed for  any medium, will drive chaos.
    A medium's currency should ideally be managed by a JIC (a real JIC!!!) or a MOC per the "Ten Cornerstones" published by Media Post -  The currency should be based on people, NOT solely device based, measures of Eyes/Ears-On for all content and ads.  Part of the cross-media measurement dilemma is that generally each ad medium has a different basis for its "agreed" currency beyond the basis harmonization and common metrics needed for the all-important  cross-media reach & frequency data over time for the brand's target group. 
    The MRC will not resolve the current chaos.  More likely it would actually add to it should each of the protagonists earn accreditation. MRC accreditation, while technically complex, hard earned, and costly, would merely confirm that the "alternate" vendors met MRC Guidelines and executed what they said they did.  (They are Guidelines NOT Standards; contain critical flaws; and do not, purposely and wisely, prescribe the specifications required by a research vendor to be a medium's singular, definitive currency!) 
    In addition, while ad campaign outcomes or program/content audience delivery are the ultimate goals, it is the creative message that is the primary driver of such outcomes over which media, as the secondary driver, has no control.  So, outcomes as a potential currency, with its intriguing mix of creative power and targetted exposure or contacts by the media, I think not.  

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, March 15, 2024 at 8:18 p.m.

    Wayne, here is a suggestion.

    1. Get each of the "four major currency vendors" to publicly release a nomintaed week's ratings

    2. That not only MRC but other entities are given access at an elemental level for analysis

    3. That the results of all four are then compared

    4. Then, and probably only then, will the folly of multiple "currencies" become clearer

    ... and heaven know you might find out which is the better and most approriate provider.

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