It has been clear for a while now that television—whether linear or streaming—is still a very effective medium for advertisers to achieve scaled reach. Yes, mobile and the various social platforms that have made a splash with their clickable and shoppable content are a growing market, but the numbers speak for themselves: According to FreeWheel research, just 10% of overall ad views come from mobile devices, while a whopping 77% occur on the big screen.¹
Think about that—for all the time consumers spend on their computers and scrolling through their phones during the day, more than three-quarters of ad views happen on the biggest screen they own. And this number takes into account both traditional linear TV (14%) and all the innumerable streaming platforms of connected TV (63%).
Properly targeting and optimizing advertising campaigns across all these platforms is the key to finding potential consumers, increasing efficiency and maximizing video investments. FreeWheel’s new study, “Delivering Incremental Reach: A Guide to Reaching New Audiences.” examines the most effective way for advertisers to target audiences across platforms and how to determine incremental reach.
The eyes have it
Incremental reach is the unique audience that a brand’s OTT ad can pull in, on top of their standard linear campaign. It uses data to deduplicate audiences and determine the level of total impressions from net-new viewers of a brand’s advertising outside of the linear TV ecosystem, either in general or at a target level of effective frequency.
Another way to think of it: Incremental reach is advertising’s version of location, location, location. Where are the vast majority of consumer eyes? Television. Effectv’s 2021 viewership report found that traditional TV makes up 82% of multiscreen campaigns, and half of streaming television views happen with CTV. And the major selling point of CTV is its ability to collect measurable data and quantify the effectiveness of a campaign. By studying this data and understanding the demographics of viewers, brands can target more effectively.
In this sense, incremental reach takes the guesswork out of advertising and lets brands focus on their desired audiences. Between the two most common data sources used for incremental reach forecasting—household modeling and automatic content recognition (ACR)—advertisers can utilize pertinent data.
Household modeling is an established method, collecting aggregated information from set-top boxes and broadband-only households and pulling extra information from third-party panels. This creates an accurate modeling for smaller localities, but individual data providers’ methodologies can vary widely, so brands will have to learn to navigate different data sets with more focus and attention to glean the proper insights.
ACR projections can provide data in real time since it only monitors data while the TV is on, but it might not provide a comprehensive view of households. If only one device in a multi-TV home is providing data, and any local cable stations aren’t included, viewership metrics will be skewed.
Still, even with their limitations, the data provided through household modeling and ACR are among the most reliable when it comes to assessing audiences and incremental reach. And while the industry is focused on more comprehensive standards regarding the data, definitions, functions, methods, etc., these forecasting methods are still the most reliable foundation for determining measurement and optimal frequency.
The future of incremental reach forecasting
Of course, having a strong set of aggregated data that is not reliant on third-party panels or extrapolated viewership data would be ideal and would provide the most accurate picture of incremental reach. And considering the pace at which premium content evolves and the channels and devices on which to watch it multiply, any system for modeling would have to be agile and prepared to expand its scope as the landscape changes.
This has been the goal of FreeWheel’s methodology—to encompass all the multiple TV platforms in its data analysis. Because our forecasting model includes aggregated viewership data from more than 10 million Comcast subscriber households, FreeWheel’s ability to provide accurate lookalike modeling and incremental reach data is the most advanced option available.
The bottom line
FreeWheel’s sophisticated marketplace forecasting is the kind of foundation on which we hope to build even better and more accurate data projections. CTV and streaming platforms are here for the long haul, and their footprint will only continue to grow. Because of this, understanding incremental reach and working to achieve the widest breadth of influence is the best bet for finding and engaging new consumers. If linear TV is the baseline, comprehensive and differentiated data is what will broadcast your message at scale.
To access the full report “Delivering Incremental Reach: A Guide to Reaching New Audiences", click here.
¹ “Delivering Incremental Reach: A Guide to Reaching New Audiences.” FreeWheel, 2022.