CIMM, 4A’s and TVB Launch Study to Develop Action Plan for Local TV Measurement

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Industry associations commission Sequent Partners to evaluate existing challenges and identify priorities for improving local TV measurement in the US

New York, NY (January 19, 2023) – The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), the 4A’s and the TVB today announced the launch of a joint study focused on developing an action plan for supporting the evolution of local TV measurement in the US market. The initiative will involve an extensive program of research, consultation, and engagement with the industry, helping to identify and evaluate the options for buyers and sellers.

With the proliferation of local TV brands available free over-the-air, on pay TV services, Smart TVs, and FAST platforms – and a wide range of buy- and sell-sides participants with varying strategies, resources and requirements – the local TV marketplace is complex and fragmented. As fragmentation has increased, TV measurement in local markets has become more challenging, as it has with national. However, many of the TV datasets that are helping to improve national measurement are unevenly available across different local markets, if at all. 

To address this, CIMM, the 4A’s and the TVB have commissioned consulting firm Sequent Partners to undertake a diagnostic exercise, focused on assessing the current state of the market, evaluating requirements across the ecosystem, and identifying potential solutions. The initiative will involve:

  1. Assessing the current state of local TV measurement in the US and the extent to which current measurement solutions are meeting the diverse needs of local stations (including those owned by major networks), agencies and advertisers, as they look to plan, sell, buy, and deliver local TV campaigns. 
  2. Identifying and establishing buy- and sell-side requirements and priorities for improving and enhancing local TV measurement solutions in the short, medium, and long-term.
  3. Reviewing the current offerings and future roadmaps of local TV measurement providers to assess how and when the current challenges and future requirements will be satisfactorily addressed.
  4. Identifying and evaluating any practical initiatives and interventions that can be undertaken in the short, medium and long-term – collectively and/or individually – to address current measurement challenges and to support buyers and sellers of local advertising.
  5. Developing a set of recommendations for the industry through identification of practical steps that could be taken collectively to improve measurement and, ultimately, support the local TV ad market.

“The growth of new platforms has increased the supply of data in the market, opening up new opportunities for measurement, advanced audience buying and attribution,” said Jon Watts, Managing Director at CIMM. “However, there is increasing industry sentiment that these opportunities are unevenly distributed and often unavailable at scale in every local market – and that there is limited coordination on requirements and priorities amongst different players. Based on discussions with CIMM’s members, we’ve seen considerable interest and enthusiasm in undertaking an initiative such as this to develop a coordinated response to current challenges and an action plan for local TV measurement in the US. As a non-partisan, pan-industry Coalition, CIMM is uniquely well positioned to undertake this initiative, working closely and collaboratively with the TVB and the 4A’s. We’re confident that a collaborative effort like this one can help the industry to make real progress.”

“As local television and video consumption continue to evolve, it ​​should come as no surprise that changing viewing patterns and adoption of technology present important challenges and upside opportunities for all parties involved in ​the local TV advertising ​ecosystem,” said Ashwini Karandikar, EVP Media, Technology & Data, 4A’s. “Our members continue to seek an accurate way to measure and maximize the investments they make on behalf of their advertiser clients. We are excited to partner with CIMM and the TVB in this study to explore local measurement challenges and develop an action plan that will work for all parties involved in a local TV transaction.”

“The TVB is committed to helping advance local broadcast television measurement,” said Hadassa Gerber, EVP Chief Research Officer, TVB. “All sales are local, and accurate local measurement is key to unlocking valuable audiences for our agency and advertiser clients. As sellers and buyers embrace impressions-based buys and audience targeting across all local video platforms, the need for more accurate and timely viewer data is essential to the growth of the local broadcast TV industry. TVB, as the representative of broadcast TV stations across the country, is pleased to partner with the 4A’s and CIMM in conducting this critically important study to explore local measurement challenges and identify the priorities necessary to create an industry-wide local TV measurement action plan.”    

“‘I strongly endorse this initiative as it will serve as a critical first step towards advancing local measurement to meet the current, as well as, future needs of buyers and sellers,” said Betsy Rella, VP of Research & Data at NY Interconnect. “I encourage industry leaders to be active participants in shaping the requirements, methodologies, systems, and processes needed for accurate, stable, and reliable measurement.”

“Gamut is proud to support CIMM’s commitment to advancing measurement for traditional and streaming TV advertising in the local marketplace,” said Keith Kazerman, President of Gamut. “In an increasingly complex media landscape, standardization is crucial, and this initiative is leading the way in establishing consistent, reliable measurement practices that will benefit the entire industry.”

Patti Cohen SVP, Research at CBS added: “Local should move away from buying on age/gender demographics and move towards using audience demographic data. Local can provide clients targeted audience buying. Local needs to move towards Cross Platform and we know that local provides a strong reach and our streaming platforms have strong engagement with viewers. All of this will require a step change in measurement – and we’re hopeful that this new initiative can help to determine how best to move forward from here.”

For more information, contact: info@cimm-us.org

About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is comprised of leading TV and video content providers, media buying agencies, large advertisers, pay TV distributors, research and media technology vendors and consultants that aim to promote innovation and foster efficiencies in audience measurement for television and cross-platform video. In 2018, CIMM was acquired by the ARF (Advertising Research Foundation), with the goal of expanding the categories of members as well as its initiatives. CIMM initiatives to date have included exploration and identification of new methodologies in cross-platform audience measurement, with verification of these approaches through pilot tests and studies conducted with independent measurement companies. CIMM’s focus has been on two key areas: the current and future potential of television measurement through the use of return-path data, and new methods for cross-platform media measurement. For more information, visit www.cimm-us.org.

About the 4A’s

The 4A’s was established in 1917 to promote, advance, and defend the interests of our member agencies, employees and the advertising and marketing industries overall. We empower our members to drive commerce, spark connections, and shape culture through infinite creativity. With a focus on advocacy, talent and the value of creativity and technology to drive business growth and cultural change, the organization serves 600+ member agencies across 1,200 offices, which help direct more than 85% of total U.S. advertising spend. The 4A’s includes the 4A’s Benefits division, which insures more than 160,000 employees; the government relations team, who advocate for policies to support the industry; and the 4A’s Foundation, which advocates for and connects multicultural talent to the marketing industry by fostering a culture of curiosity, creativity and craft to fuel a more ​equitable future for the industry.

About TVB

TVB is the not-for-profit trade association representing America’s local broadcast television industry. For more information, visit www.tvb.org.

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