CIMM Research Shows Generally Strong Support for Standardized Cross-Platform Video Ad Measurement

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Current video ad measurement ecosystem is viewed as being fair-to-poor according to findings presented at 7th Annual CIMM Summit

New York, NY, February 1, 2018 –
Media and advertising executives say current methods for measuring advertising impressions across linear and digital video are fair at best.

That’s according to research conducted by Artie Bulgrin, EVP, Insights and Strategy, MediaScience, and presented today at CIMM’s 7th Annual Cross-Platform Media Measurement & Data Summit, the industry’s annual gathering to assess the state of audience measurement.

Featuring interviews with nearly 30 influential decision makers and thought leaders across media and advertising, the research examined the current state of cross-platform video ad measurement and assessed the support for a standard metric.

“As TV buying continues to evolve, it seems inevitable that the industry will need individual ad ratings to provide the best, most accurate measurement across all platforms,” said Bulgrin. “This paper takes the temperature of where all parties stand in getting this done, and what still needs to be addressed going forward.”

The research uncovered the following key takeaways:

Perception of Current TV/Video Ad Measurement Is Fair at Best: Satisfaction with the overall ad measurement space was rated mediocre to low, with digital video ad measurement scoring consistently lower results compared to traditional TV. Respondents commended TV measurement for being a stable standard, but criticized its lack of granularity and gaps in total audience measurement. However, while digital measurement provides granularity, it’s considered too incomplete and lacks transparency.

There’s Still Value in C3 Ratings: Judged within the framework of its objective – measuring audiences of linear TV ads – respondents said the current C3 standard still has value as a reliable currency. The data is generally seen as being consistent and projectable, but mostly in aggregate form.

A Standard Cross-Platform Currency Is Important — But Not Considered ‘Critical’: Even with the general lack of satisfaction in cross-platform measurement, there was no consensus that a standard currency was “critical” at this point. Less than half of those interviewed strongly agreed that a standard cross-platform currency is critical. The main point of contention hinged on the words “currency” and “critical.” This dovetails with the opposing attitudes about measurement overall: Traditional vs contemporary (open-minded). Here, the contemporary view clearly out-numbered the traditional view.

While a Cross-Platform Currency May Not Be Considered Critical at This Time, an Accurate Measure of Net Reach and Duplication Is: While not all respondents strongly agree that a cross-platform impression currency for video advertising is critical, almost all agreed that it is very important to be able to accurately measure net reach, exclusive reach and duplication of audiences across all platforms. This opinion crosses “party lines” on the critical aspect of currency. While an ad impression currency may not be deemed critical by all, there is bipartisan agreement that measures of reach, duplication and exclusivity are critical.

Most Appear Likely to Support the Proposed Standard: The Media Rating Council has been drafting a cross-media measurement standard for cross-platform video. The standard argues for duration-weighted impressions as the trading currency instead of the commercial minute method used in TV. Opinions ranged between those who expressed moderate optimism, understanding getting cross-platform measurement right will be a great challenge, those who raised concerns and questions about methodology, and those who questioned whether or not the industry should be more focused on the fixing the individual pillars of measurement first before we get to a cross-platform measure.

Tepid Belief That Current Measurement Providers Can Produce Proposed Standard: When asked if they had confidence that current measurement providers, namely Nielsen and comScore, could incorporate the MRC’s proposed standard into their capabilities, the answers were mixed. Nielsen attracted more confidence, given its longstanding history as the de facto TV currency. All agreed that competition in this space would be a benefit, but this cannot be done in a vacuum. Any vendor will need significant cooperation from publishers to implement measurement.

Nielsen’s Ability to Offer Reliable Data for Individual Ad Units Is a Concern: Nielsen is confident in their ability to move from an average measure of linear commercial audiences to reliable data for individual ad units. But that confidence is not as high among clients, all of whom agree that a panel will not be enough to produce stable audience data. However, TV companies said they’re already analyzing individual ad unit data with Nielsen on a custom basis for specific pod placements they sell to clients and can’t recall any major concerns. In most of those cases, units were evaluated in aggregate. To meet the goals of this cross-platform standard, Nielsen will need second-by-second metrics and the stability of that data is a concern.

“CIMM has been working to move the media and advertising industries towards a standardized metric for buying and selling ads across linear and digital platforms,” said Jane Clarke, CEO and managing director for CIMM. “This document provides insight into where the key industry players stand, as well as a roadmap for how to attain a true, cross-platform measurement standard.”




About CIMM

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is comprised of leading video content providers, media agencies and advertisers that aim to promote innovation and foster efficiencies in audience measurement for television and cross-platform video. CIMM explores and identifies new methodologies in audience measurement and verifies these approaches through a series of pilot tests and studies conducted with independent measurement companies. CIMM’s primary focus is 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.

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