Investigating the Industry Opportunity for Standardized TV/Video Ad Impressions

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The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) is interested in understanding the potential for the media and advertising industries to consider moving towards a standardized metric or currency for buying/selling ads across traditional linear TV and digital platforms including on-demand TV content as well as long and short form video on digital platforms. The goal is to establish greater consistency in measurement for cross-platform TV/video advertising.

Due to the increased consumption of ad supported traditional TV programming and original video content on digital platforms, measurement of ads across TV and video platforms has become mixed and inconsistent: Digital TV platforms have relied on individual spot impressions for formats such as Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) in VOD and addressable advertising. This contrasts with the traditional linear TV industry standard of average commercial minute ratings established in 2009. Commercial minute ratings (aka C3/C7) are based on the proportion of viewers in the viewing audience who are tuned-in, on average, across all the minutes within a program that have any portion of a commercial within them. So essentially there is one average audience impression number or rating for all ads that occurred and were tuned-in to during a program. This is in great contrast to the measurement for digital video ads, which are based on individual impressions for each ad served which may have been further qualified as viewable, fraud-free, and in a brand-safe environment, but without a time of exposure component.

The MRC is introducing a cross-platform measurement standard for video advertising that is based on duration-weighted impressions designed to unify linear TV and digital video ad measurement. But, until that standard can be vetted, accepted and implemented, the measurement of audiences for TV/Video ad content across platforms remains a mixture of methods.

Objective of this proposed standard:
As the future for TV buying evolves in the next few years, it seems inevitable that the industry will need individual ad ratings to satisfy proper measurement of campaigns and varying creative targeted to specific audiences. Establishing this standard would also provide common ground to more effectively evaluate audiences delivered across a growing number of platforms for those campaigns – specifically valuable diagnostic measures like net reach and audience exclusivity or duplication across platforms. But the groundwork needs to be laid soon to make sure the industry is prepared. The objective of this paper is to understand all the reasons for and against the introduction of standardized cross platform video ad impressions, how such a standard could be introduced into the industry, and the optimal timing for doing so.


CIMM would like to thank all the participating individuals and their companies for taking the time to contribute their views and opinions to this important study.

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