TV Trade Group Seeks Tech Firm to Build Video Data Warehouse

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An Effort to Standardize Metrics In Web Video

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A trade group focused on advancing media measurement is seeking tech companies to develop a would-be warehouse for video content viewing data. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that viewing numbers provided by publishers are standardized, validated and normalized to create more trust among video ad buyers — and, in turn, more spending on video ad inventory.

The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement counts among its core members some of the largest video content publishers including Viacom, Discovery, A&E Networks, CBS and TimeWarner, in addition to big ad spenders such as P&G and Group M. The four-year-old organization wants interested companies to bid to design and build a system allowing participating video publishers to submit as well as access viewing data. CIMM is putting out an RFP today for the project; proposals are due by July 15, 2013.

Among the main problems is the lack of standards for how video providers implement analytics tags from companies like Adobe. The group would “work to normalize [data from those tags] across the media companies and have it audited by the MRC [Media Relations Council],” said Jane Clarke, managing director at CIMM. “This initiative is primarily coming from the publishers,” she added.

The platform could work similarly to a data co-op, providing incentives for publishers to divulge their first-party viewing data to the database because all participants will be able to access all viewing data, including that of their competitors. Such a concept is popular among catalog retailers, for example.

“It gives all publishers the opportunity to simultaneously jump in the pool,” said Kevin Wright, VP of multiplatform research for A&E Networks.

Also, by including data from many of the TV firms serving up digital video, the system would give all those privy to it a better idea of an individual publisher’s market share.

Another promise of such a system would be the ability to layer on demographic data. While Nielsen and Comscore do this, the video viewing measures they provide currently are available only on a monthly basis — a lifetime for digital advertisers. In theory, CIMM data warehouse participants would feed their video viewing data into the database on a more regular basis.

CIMM aims to develop a database for video content measurement at first, though it could evolve to include ad engagement data as well. “We see this as a multistage project,” said Ms. Clarke.

“There are a variety of ways that a business model for this could develop,” she added. “We’re very open to listening to all potential ideas.”

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