ViacomCBS in its announcement touted the VideoAmp dataset as “one of the most trusted and highest quality in the marketplace due to its scale” and proprietary methodology of combining set-top box and automated content recognition technology to deliver unduplicated media reach numbers and performance measurement across video platforms.
“We’re not saying that we’re replacing one currency with the other,” Halley said. “What we are saying is that the measurement marketplace needs diversification. We’re very confident that you will see agencies asking us for different types of guarantee structures going forward.”
VideoAmp CEO and Co-Founder Ross McCray said using the same data provider as currency that many agencies already use for planning and optimizing can create “information symmetry” that benefits media companies, agencies and marketers alike.
McCray acknowledged that in the past agencies often have looked to make money on “information asymmetry,” using VideoAmp or other advanced analytic tools to get the most value out of buys denominated in Nielsen age-gender demos.
“This is about eliminating waste and creating opportunity for both buyers and sellers,” McCray said. “It’s not a zero-sum game. There will be more return on ad spend for advertisers, and there will be increased yield and better opportunity for publishers, who will then create better content.”
The market can't wait
VideoAmp still doesn’t have its product in a final state that would make it feasible to apply for MRC accreditation, said Chief Measurability Officer Josh Chasin. Comscore is applying for accreditation but doesn’t have it yet for TV measurement. And Nielsen is working to restore its suspended accreditation. Halley said adding unaccredited alternatives isn't about giving up on accreditation, but that the market can't wait on the process to play out before taking action.
"The MRC is very important to advertisers, and I work with the MRC,” Halley said. But he added: “They probably could be a little more agile in their review of these innovative products that are coming to market. The idea of having a year-long process is I think onerous. There should be opportunities to make assessments more quickly.”
The MRC got statements of support last week from the Association of National Advertisers and 4A’s as an important part of evaluating TV and other media measurements.
At the same time, five of the six largest agency holding companies also are launching pilots using VideoAmp as cross-platform deal currency, the company announced last week. ViacomCBS is also working with the ANA on that group’s cross-platform measurement pilot plans and will try to support, “whatever kind of data sets advertisers need to be supported,” Halley said.
Halley also endorsed NBCUniversal’s current RFP process for cross-platform measurement alternatives, which is not an effort by his rival to “go it alone,” Halley said. “They’re doing that in service really of the VAB [innovation] process. We’re going to be moving collectively to define that future, and ultimately that’s going to involve multiple currency options.”
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