2016 looks to be another year of strong video growth as the Digital Content NewFronts come to a close and the TV upfront kicks off. During this integral month for the media industry, advertiser dollars will pour into linear and digital for the upcoming year. Showing promise for continued rapid growth, digital video ad dollars grew by more than 23% year-over year, according to eMarketer. As dollars continue to flow into multiplatform deals, why don't we see video being sold in true multiplatform fashion within a single, unified Video Upfront?
The answer resides in challenges within the digital video and TV industries to establish a common currency and a single unit of monetization. TV has long been measured and transacted using the gross rating point; however, digital, due to inherent nuances within the medium, has been challenged to establish a similar common currency. Digital platforms create an opportunity for advertisers to obtain analytics around viewability, targeting and engagement that TV is simply unable to provide. Consequently, these opportunities for reporting create speed bumps to establishing apples-to-apples measurement within digital and to creating parity with TV measurement.
According to a research study commissioned by Teads and conducted by Forrester, the biggest challenge to advertisers considering increased investment in digital is a lack of verification that ads are delivered to the intended audiences. This gap in established standards for measurement and viewability is being addressed by audience verification tools in the marketplace such as Moat and
Continued improvements within digital audience verification will alleviate advertiser concerns around audience quality, providing a new opportunity to merge digital video and TV advertising into a unified platform that can be packaged and sold together. Ironically, the decades-old GRP may provide the innovation that's needed to equate digital campaigns to one another as well as to TV. This would potentially open up the floodgates for TV dollars to further flow into digital platforms.
Digital GRP measurement has been available in recent years since Nielsen and comScore launched their campaign verification tools DAR (Digital Audience Ratings) and vCE (validated Campaign Essentials), respectively. By using a percentage of the campaign impressions on target, the frequency of exposure and the size of the demographic universe, digital campaigns can be successfully measured with GRPs. Nielsen's TAR (Total Audience Report) takes it a step further by integrating digital targeting, reach and frequency metrics with corresponding TV campaigns, including GRP measurements. However, concerns remain.
In order to be compatible with TV standards, the Media Rating Council through 3MS (Making Measurement Make Sense) is working toward introducing an online GRP metric providing reach and frequency reporting for viewable impressions. A viewable and human GRP initiative as per the MRC's definition will help to dismantle the inconsistencies surrounding the measurement of audience quality.
Media evolution through technology initially led to a fragmented market, but it's also well-positioned to provide the solution. Audience verification tools have become increasingly sophisticated and can now report the percent of a campaign's weight that is viewable, human, viewed-to-completion and within premium-level digital content.
Fixing these reporting elements both alleviates advertisers' fears regarding the quality of their campaigns and establishes an environment where the GRP becomes a more powerful digital measurement currency. Through audience verification, the challenge around ensuring digital campaign reporting is equitable to TV becomes less prohibitive.
Challenges remain on both sides. TV itself has become on-demand, and people are no longer as engaged with commercials as time-shifting has changed the dynamic. Simultaneous viewing across platforms both dilutes the attention spent viewing TV and creates new opportunities for advertisers to activate consumers across digital screens.
As the upfront draws near and the NewFronts come to a close, advertisers will commit billions of dollars to publishers eager to showcase their latest content offerings. This looks to be another year of diverging strategies, divided budgets and separate content offerings as TV and digital remain largely sold separately.
Ultimately, as content converges across screens, platforms simply become vessels to access content via the omnipotent cloud. Through increasingly sophisticated audience measurement, the future of digital video advertising will become less distinguishable from linear advertising, thus creating synergistic value for brands, more efficiency for publishers and greater impact for users. A multiplatform Video Upfront may not be far off after all.
About the Author
Rebecca Mahony is the CMO at Teads, where she is responsible for supervising the company's global marketing, communication and publicity initiatives. To establish and grow the Teads brand in North America, Ms. Mahony moved from London to New York, hitting the ground running. Within just a few months of her U.S. arrival, she had not only produced tremendous industry events and activations for Teads but was also recognized by the New York Business Journal as one of its 2015 New York Women of Influence.
Prior to working at Teads, Ms. Mahony acquired over 10 years of online marketing experience, managing the international and digital thinking of iconic brands such as NetJets, McDonald's and SONY.
About the Sponsor
Teads, founded in 2011, is the inventor of outstream video advertising and a global monetization platform for publishers. Publishers work with Teads to create new video inventory and monetize it through Teads' sales force, their own sales forces or programmatic buying.
Teads' outstream solutions encompass a series of formats inserted deep into media content, like the inRead playing inside articles, creating unprecedented levels of premium inventory that did not exist before. Brands and agencies can access this top-tier, premium inventory, available on the web and on mobile, through programmatic or managed services. Find out more about Teads at teads.tv.