& cplSiteName &

Ad Industry Eyes Shift From Ratings to Impressions

Mari Silbey
5/5/2014
50%
50%

TV advertising is on the brink of a fundamental shift. Again.

Despite empty promises in the past of interactivity and addressable advertising, there is now a measureable change underway in how TV ads are targeted, sold, and delivered. At a Light Reading breakfast on Targeting Ads in the Multiscreen World hosted by cable/video practice leader Alan Breznick at The Cable Show last week, executives from Canoe Ventures LLC , Clearleap , Imagine Communications , Viamedia, and Scripps Networks shared statistics and stories illustrating just how far TV advertising has come... and how far it still has to go.

According to director of new media distribution at Scripps Alexander Beach, Internet advertising dollars surpassed broadcast advertising for the first time in 2013. At the same time, however, the TV industry is making tremendous strides in monetizing video on demand content. There were more than 2 billion ads inserted into free VoD content in 2013, according to Canoe Ventures head of product, sales, and marketing Chris Pizzuro, and the number for 2014 is already up to 1.7 billion ads in just the first four months. Pizzuro said advertisers are "jumping in" and that there are, on average, 179 VoD dynamic ad insertion (DAI) campaigns executed every week. (See Cable's Search for Advanced Advertising Treasure.)

Perhaps more importantly, multiscreen video services are creating crossover between the Internet and standard TV advertising. Executives at the breakfast panel agreed that the multiscreen trend is driving major changes. It's not just about where a viewer ultimately sees a commercial. It's also about how that view is measured. Multiscreen video means IP delivery, and that means considering a shift from TV's traditional ratings-based advertising model, to the Internet's impressions-based approach.

To take a step back, several executives on the multiscreen advertising panel offered perspective on how pay-TV operators have looked at monetizing new multiscreen services. Imagine CTO Steve Reynolds noted that operators have studied the question of whether they can charge extra for multiscreen delivery, but added that "advertising really is the obvious way to try to monetize that."

Pizzuro chimed in by pointing out that advertising is also what programmers know. Some programmers have tried to launch direct-to-consumer businesses with the hope of increasing revenue, but generally it hasn't worked out. A shift to impressions-based measurement for monetization may be dramatic, but it's still within a paradigm that content owners understand.

Unfortunately, familiarity doesn't mean there aren't still major challenges in moving to an impressions-based model. One big one is that operators still have to serve both a linear TV master, where program ratings prevail, and a digital master, where impressions are the preferred currency. And while providers want to sell inventory across multiple platforms, the data available from these different channels varies significantly.

Clearleap director of product management J.R. Cottingham explained that it's hard to do an apples-to-apples comparison of viewing data across platforms. Online datasets are richer than the datasets available from set-tops, for example, and operators not only have to collect data from everywhere, but clean it and make it actionable. The middle part is "monstrous," said Contingham. "How do you pare it down to that which is truly actionable?"

Still, the consensus of the panel was that the evolution to a new kind of data-driven advertising is already happening. Reynolds cited an unnamed customer of British operator BSkyB who has made the transition to thinking about impressions-based ad buying, and Viamedia president and CEO Mark Lieberman referenced Proctor and Gamble as having been vocal about seriously studying the same shift. According to Lieberman, Proctor and Gamble saw an 8% increase in sales across product lines when it reallocated advertising dollars based on a combination of set-top viewing data and other available datasets. That's powerful evidence of the value of direct viewing data over traditional TV ratings.

Reynolds argued that impressions-based advertising makes ad inventory more efficient, even if the transition period is a vulnerable time. Lieberman added that the impressions model gives programmers and advertisers a greater sense of accountability, which "I think is where the opportunity lies."

Technologically speaking, said Beach from Scripps, the industry is ready to change, but getting linear and digital sales teams to come together and converge on a common currency will still be difficult. Beach described the industry's progress on a spectrum of slither, crawl, walk, and run. "We're just slowly walking now."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/7/2014 | 3:11:03 PM
Re: Mad Men
jabailo - Just this morning I unfriended a college friend on Facebook. I was happy to get a friend request from him a few months ago because we haven't talked since college. But since then the only time I hear from him is when he's promoting his book with boilerplate messages. I could dig through the notifications settings to find a way to mute him without unfriending him, but unfriending is simple. 

A lesson here for all marketers. Today, you have to send personalized messages and listen at least as much as you talk. Otherwise, you're the insurance salesman at the party who's doing nothing but trying to sell insurance. 
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/6/2014 | 9:04:28 PM
Re: Mad Men
It's tough row to hoe...I see that many of the large news blogs, trying to make their way into the Facebook Feed format...often come across as big, and blustery...and in many ways a bit "tone deaf".   They ignore comments and commenters, even if points are made in contraction of their statements (!).   Sometimes I read something brilliant in the threads, but it gets steamrollered by the content provider reiterating the same point ten times in a row, as if we "didn't get it" the first time.   It's like one of those old Silent Movie attresses trying to make their way into the Talkies.  A medium that used to require a lot of drama and emotion to make a point, now requires the ultimate subtlety.  The ultimate...cool.   You really have to shrink down, and work your way into the crowd, rather than shouting..to enter the eye of the social media needle.   It's something we all need to to...to stop looking at media as a soapbox, and more of seat at the dining room table.

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/6/2014 | 3:02:09 PM
Re: Mad Men
jabailo - The amazing thing about advertising is that it still remains mostly Oratorical, like the hierarchical media.

By Oratorical, I mean one-way, top-down.

Social media is supposed to change that by making the lecture into a conversation. It remains to be seen whether social marketing will actually move products the shelves. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/5/2014 | 10:27:28 PM
Ad Industry Eyes Shift From Ratings to Impressions
@jabailo, I am in full agreement that the top-down approach is truly innovative.

This blog demonstrates the practical difficulties in aligning the data from the two different systems.

I am wondering if they might not create a new "hybrid" that bridges both systems.  If they moved towards impressions and went further by incorporating the pyschographics in how impressions affect actually purchasing decisions and buying habits, that might be a truly different dimension; one that responds to more two-way communications.
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/5/2014 | 6:25:12 PM
Re: Mad Men
The amazing thing about advertising is that it still remains mostly Oratorical, like the hierarchical media.

By Oratorical, I mean one-way, top-down.

An advertisement is really a restricted story.  The advertiser wants to tell you a tale about the good parts of his product.  That was Don Draper's forte.  He found a story within the most mundane of goods.

However, in today's world, that is no longer possible.   While you show the front side, a hundred bloggers are looking at the left, right and back panels.

That said, even if you projected a hologram, you're still missing the essential part of the Conversational mode of social media.

It operates in two-directions.   Just as people will no longer consume thoughts or images, but want to create their own, and be seen as equals, so too, maybe the one-way nature of products themselves must change.

This is part of the argument of Makers, by Chris Anderson, who sees 3D printers converting our rigid global assembly lines to flexible, individualistic, local manufacturing.  But really, even with just a current fixed product, how many sites allow us to say, ask questions about a product, rather than be told?  

One way or the other, we're going to kick the tires.  Maybe that's what the manufacturers should be allowing us to do to create a lasting...impression.

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/5/2014 | 2:54:54 PM
Mad Men
This looks like a step to make advertising metrics more precise, which can only benefit advertisers and the networks. 

Interestingly (to me at least), this season's Mad Men is dealing with the ad industry's shift from creative-driven to analytics-driven advertising -- in 1969. The ad agency where the main character works got itself an IBM 360 mainframe. 

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.