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MediaPost - Are We Ready To Take The Red Pill?

This op-ed article written by CIMM's Jane Clarke was originally published by MediaPost. By In “The Matrix,”Keanu Reeve’s character is asked if he wants to take the red pill and, as a result, see the unsettling reality of his situation.  Or he has the choice of taking the blue pill and simply staying in contented ignorance. At the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement's recent Cross-Platform Video Measurement & Data Summit, a panelist referred to cross-media measurement as taking the red pill.  By taking it, marketers will then know the truth about how far ahead of the industry consumers are in their cross-platform behavior. But then in gaining that knowledge, they will have to do something about it. Well, as an industry, we are not quite ready to take the red pill -- because while much progress has been made, the pill is not available to be taken. Certainly, that’s not from lack of effort or sense of urgency. But industry players do need to do their part to make this happen. Based on work CIMM has done, as well as the work of others, we have established four main building blocks necessary for cross-platform video measurement to advance:

  • Standardized second-by-second “census-like” data from smart TVs and set-top boxes that have been combined to create TV content and ad tuning datasets that are as nationally representative as possible;
  • Standardized second-by-second digital census data from sites and apps for content and ads that were delivered and viewable;
  • A single-source cross-media panel, or separate linked TV and digital panels, to calibrate skews or estimate data missing from large datasets; and
  • Privacy-compliant ID resolution to deduplicate reach across all touchpoints and also to create audience segments, manage ad frequency, and conduct attribution.
Again, there has been much progress in creating these building blocks, but there is also much work still needed to be done to address both technical and business challenges. If anything, the pandemic accelerated efforts to create solutions, because marketers were -- and still are -- demanding greater accountability and efficiency in their advertising. Still only part of bringing about the red pill is a technical challenge.  The rest is a business challenge. True cross-platform measurement is inevitably going to bring about change. While it is difficult to foresee all the changes achieving this will generate, we will ultimately see an impact on how advertising is sold and priced.  And perhaps it will be seen as a catalyst to change in advertising itself. And all that change is difficult to manage, especially while continuing to conduct business. But as Keanu Reeves saw in “The Matrix,” the struggle he had to go through once the red pill was taken ultimately resulted in advancement of the greater good -- if not such a happy ending for him! While the red pill is not ready for our industry now, it will be soon. Once it is, we will finally be able to see consumer cross-platform activity as it really is -- and undertake the changes we should make to align advertising activity accordingly.

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The Drum - Streaming summer: 79% of Americans plan to stick with streaming TV

This article quoting CIMM's Jane Clarke was originally published via The Drum. By   Summer is coming. Americans are being vaccinated in droves. But as they leave their homes, will they leave all of their favorite streaming services behind, too? According to an exclusive study conducted by The Drum in conjunction with YouGov, the answer is no. Premium streaming viewing habits seem indelible. However, adoption of some ad-supported video on demand options may still take time.

Who needs sunshine? Americans are sticking with their streaming TV. More than half of Americans have received at least one Covid shot. With warmer weather ahead, dreams of barbecues and outdoor concerts are filling the heads of many. Does that mean that consumption of streaming video will suffer? Not really, according to a poll of 1,200 adult consumers conducted by The Drum/YouGov on April 21, 2021. Two-thirds of those polled say they will watch the same amount of streaming TV during the next three months. And 13% say they will watch even more. What’s more, a fifth of the coveted 18 to 29-year-old demographic say they will watch more streaming TV. “While Covid-19 is an anomaly, the trends that we see coming out of it are not. People shifted their viewing habits, permanently,” says Ryan Eusanio, managing director, digital activation at Omnicom Media Group. “This is not just because of the circumstances, it might have been in reaction to the circumstances, but these changes were already happening. They were just accelerated over the last year.”

The ficklest of all: viewers 18-29

Despite the rapid proliferation of choice now – many of which come with free trial periods – more than half (53%) of Americans say they are not planning on canceling a service or letting a trial period expire within the next three months. Less than a quarter (21%) say they plan to cull down their service. In this case, however, the 18- to 29-year-old demographic proved to be the most fickle with 29% saying they plan on canceling a service. “As consumers’ fandom grows for premium programming — series and documentaries — exclusive to SVOD platforms, it becomes more difficult for them to cancel or choose not to renew the services,” says Alex Stone, senior vice president of advanced video and agency partnerships at Horizon Media. Still, the new spate of premium services appear to have some work to do. Half of the respondents say they only have one or two subscriptions. 20% have three subscriptions and 12% have four.

Ad-supported options still have some work to do

Like all things streaming, the competition in the AVOD category is fierce. HBOMax is just the latest to announce they will be entering the AVOD arena alongside the likes of Tubi, Pluto and others. While the growth of AVOD viewing is undeniable, a a little less than half (46%) of respondents say AVOD services (specifically subscriptions that are less expensive in exchange for watching ads) are not currently in their consideration set. “Here’s the issue. Nobody wants commercials. They don’t like watching ads,” says Marc ’Mr TV’ Berman, editor of Programming Insider. “However, once people begin to realize that the costs of all these services are adding up – Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, they might say, ‘I’ll put up with commercials on Tubi and Pluto.’” The good news: 53% of 18 to 29-year-olds say they will consider or strongly consider these ad-supported options, lower fee options. Horizon Media’s Stone, says consumer appetite for AVOD will only grow. “We are seeing growth in AVOD consumption with cord cutters still seeking places to watch free TV and live sports/events.” Jane Clarke, chief executive and managing director at the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement says when it comes to paying a lesser fee in order to have a low ad load, “a significant number of consumers want either one or the other: paid subscription services or ad-supported free services. Still, she says, “a significant portion of the population that will accept advertising in return for free or reduced-price content. Consumers have always had a reciprocal relationship between content and ads, such that they are willing to accept ads if the content is free, but if they’re paying for the content, they have a much lower – or zero – tolerance for ads, especially interruptive ones!”

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Marketing Dive - What AVOD's growth means for marketers in search of evolving consumers

This article quoting CIMM's Jane Clarke was originally published by Marketing Dive.

As viewer interest in ad-supported video on demand accelerates, marketers are trying to determine how to navigate the channel and avoid new walled gardens. The rise of ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) services has been a quiet development amid numerous new consumer behaviors spurred or accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. Yet the proportion of consumers using an AVOD service is now noteworthy, having increased from 34% in February 2020 to 58% in February 2021, according to Hub research emailed to Marketing Dive. As pandemic-era behaviors calcify, AVOD looks poised to become an important marketing lane, especially as other trends — like consumer fatigue over paying for multiple subscription video services (SVODs) and a tightening data privacy landscape — affect digital channels.

What AVOD's growth means for marketers in search of evolving consumers

As viewer interest in ad-supported video on demand accelerates, marketers are trying to determine how to navigate the channel and avoid new walled gardens.
Courtesy of Roku

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Cross-Screen Media - CIMM’s CEO Jane Clarke On The Building Blocks of Cross-Media Measurement

Jane Clarke was featured on Cross Screen Media's ScreenBytes Executive Interviews.

Jane Clarke, CIMM’s (Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement) CEO and Managing Director, joins Cross Screen Media CEO Michael Beach to shares her thoughts on the building blocks of cross-media measurement in our latest ScreenBytes Executive Interview. Watch the interview here and read the full transcript below!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB9djxnwWik Michael Beach: Jane, thank you for joining us today. Jane Clarke: Well, thanks for having me. It sounds like fun. MB: We’ll start off with an ice breaker that we ask all of our guests. What was your first job and what lessons did you take away from it that you applied to your career? JC: I tend to skip over the teenage jobs, being a waitress or a camp counselor. But you actually do learn an awful lot there about the importance of showing up and showing up on time and treating other people with respect. I tend to think about my first job in the field was an internship at National Geographic in Washington; it was terrific. It was the last semester of my senior year and I got to do the Communications Research Department internship. I think what I really learned was the power of speaking truth to power and how you do that. That research and measurement can be used to bring a perspective that gets beyond a lot of decision-making in corporations that’s not based on data, or just based on politics/positions. It was really revelatory to me that people could use data and even young people could actually impact big decisions and tell that to senior management. MB: Now looking more at the measurement space, how did you get your start in that area? JC: That job in the Communications Research Department was actually a measurement job, and ever since then, all my jobs have been just through the referrals from people that I met in that first job. It really all started just with an internship, amazingly as it may seem. Then I went from there to the Sesame Workshop (formerly Children’s TV Workshop), and then I spent 27 years at Time Warner in many different divisions doing research across print, TV, and music. Then I came to CIMM about 10-11 years ago. MB: Excellent, it’s very rare to hear an internship leading to a direct line where you are today. Congratulations on that. Before jumping any deeper, would you mind giving our audience a little background on CIMM and what its mission is? JC: CIMM is the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, and it was formed about 11-12 years ago by the networks along with the media buying agencies and a handful of large advertisers. And at the time, I think Alan Wurtzel at NBC was in the midst of negotiating a Nielsen contract and they were also starting to look at this new world of set-top box data. They kept thinking, “Oh, we could form a new group to investigate creating new currencies out of set-top box data and then we can get rid of my Nielsen contract for the next time around.” Well, that didn’t exactly happen. When they hired me in January of 2010, I was the first managing director. I knew right away that they didn’t have enough money to harm Nielsen in any way considerably. However, it was still worth it to have a group of people in the industry that looked at innovation and how we could push all of the vendors to do the kind of innovation that the end-users, the buyers, and sellers of media, all needed. That’s always been the role that CIMM’s played, even though we’re now a nonprofit. In the beginning, we were an LLC and then we were acquired by the ARF a couple of years ago and became a nonprofit. We have the same mission, which is to bring more granular measurement into television and to use that as part of solutions for cross-media measurement. When we think of cross-media measurement, we mostly think of it from the point of view of video. For instance, how can you completely measure the video that might start on linear television, then also have different iterations in all the new forms of TV that have emerged from VOD, streaming, and addressable TV, and then all the different ways that a marketer can buy on TV today and how that content is created across all these platforms. MB: Recently, you hosted your 10th Annual Summit – congrats on that. I was impressed with the overall video quality and guests. Pulling off a virtual summit like that is an amazing accomplishment. What were a few big takeaways? JC: We had to actually get a little production team to help us. We couldn’t do it all by ourselves, because we’re a very small operation. I would say that the big takeaway was that the industry has finally been able to clarify that there are really four building blocks to get to cross-media measurement. The first one is that you need granular TV data from smart TVs and set-top boxes, and it’s better if you can combine those data sets to get as many nationally representative granular data sets as possible. The second thing that you need is you need that on the digital side. All the app and the site data, the CTV, OTT data. That is not in any form of a standardized data set right now. Every network has its own approach to measuring that and its own log file data, similar to Google and Facebook, they’re all walled gardens when it comes to their own data in the apps that they are all launching more and more of every day. The third area is that you need a panel because there are biases and skews and missing data in those big datasets, both digital and TV sets. You need that cross-platform panel or some linking of a digital and a television panel in order to make those adjustments and to also understand who’s in front of the television screen. The big problem with all this machine data is that you only know that the machine was on, but you don’t know how many people or who was in front of it. You need a panel to do all of those things, but it’s a changing role for the panel. The last piece of all that is ID resolution and that’s really critical to piecing the other three building blocks together. You need a solution for how you can connect all the devices and the people in a particular household to match to other household datasets. That then this whole thing can be used for planning, targeting, audience targeting, creating segments, activating against those segments, optimization, in flight, and then measurement and attribution on the backend. It’s really almost an entirely new TV data platform that needs to be created to completely get to cross-media measurement. MB: I love the idea of big data and the panel combined beyond who’s in front of the TV. What are some core use cases for, or questions that the panel would answer with the big dataset combined? JC: One of the issues with the big datasets is that they don’t cover the over-the-air audience, and there are still some markets where people don’t have pay TV and they don’t have smart TVs. So, it can be maybe only 10% nationally, but there are some markets that can be a lot larger than that, up into the high teens and 20s where people are still getting their TV over the air. These datasets sometimes are called data exhaust, or they come off of the set-top boxes and off of the smart TVs sometimes for other reasons than measurement, but they don’t cover homes that aren’t hooked up to the internet or hooked up to a cable where you can get a return path of the data. MB: Where are we at overall from a measurement point of view today? JC: Progress is being made in all of those four building blocks but it hasn’t really been consistently set up in the industry. There’s still inconsistency related to the objectives and what we all have to do. As a result, everybody’s doing their own thing. You have all the vendors trying to come up with solutions that fit, usually, into their prior approach to doing things. Nielsen starts out with one point of view from the panel. They start bringing in big data and now they’re going to launch Nielsen ONE and they’re trying to put together all these pieces, but they’re missing the consistent digital data. The networks didn’t install the Nielsen SDK and all their apps. So, Nielsen has a hole on the digital side and that’s a very interesting dynamic, because the networks, they have now become data owners, don’t want to just give their data to Nielsen and then, have Nielsen turn it around and charge them for putting it together with everybody else’s data. That’s a very interesting dynamic. Then, what happens is you have all the networks themselves, creating their own view of what deduplicated reach looks like across their properties. They’re taking their Nielsen linear TV data and they’re adding it to their app data, to VOD, to addressable, whatever else they’re selling. They can put that together themselves into an estimate of deduplicated reach for the marketers to buy advertising. But, then NBCU is doing it in a different way from ViacomCBS and from Warner Media so, you don’t have a holistic end-to-end view for the buyers. Basically, everybody’s coming at it from their own point of view and even marketers, in the last year, got involved. The World Federation of Advertisers launched an initiative under their media committee to come up with a framework, a global framework, and a technical blueprint for cross-media measurement that also involves bringing in data from Google and Facebook because that’s really important to the marketers. How can they deduplicate reach between Google, Facebook, and the whole TV video ecosystem? Everybody’s coming at it from their point of view. I think they all agree on the four building blocks, but they’re working on different pieces of them in different ways. And when it comes to the panel, and we have the Nielsen panel, we have a couple of other smaller panels in the industry that people are trying to launch. When it comes to ID resolution, there are so many people working on different forms of ID resolution with everything changing, with the deprecation of the cookie and the IDFA. There are people working on how do you keep identity on the open web? How do you have authenticated users that are logged in, on Google, Facebook, and other platforms while managing your own identity? How do you combine that with CTV? How do you do data matching with other partners? There’s an awful lot of activity in the ID resolution space right now. MB: That seems like another area that there’s fragmentation. It seems like the last couple of years has gotten more fragmented, not less so. JC: CTV is definitely added to the fragmentation. It’s all good for us as consumers that now we can enjoy a lot more content whenever we want to, but it’s certainly added more complexity to the measurement area. MB: Regarding that, obviously, the pandemic has had a huge shift in user consumption of video. How has that impacted measurement specifically? JC: We’ve all seen the data on the streaming revolution just happened in the last nine months, even though it had been going in fits and starts for a few years before that. But we’re all of a sudden on the other side of that. So, there’s no going back and from a measurement point of view. It’s highlighted the fact that we don’t have a standardized way to get all that data back so, there isn’t a good view of that for the marketers. There have also been some issues with panels, in COVID, when some of the panel monitoring systems and installation systems haven’t been able to pay visits to the home, members have had to stay in longer, or maybe they’ve lost members of the panel. There have been issues just maintaining quality in panels and not just the Nielsen panel. Then there are some new panels trying to launch, and that’s been a little challenging to get the money to launch and to get cooperation from consumers and everything. The good news about COVID has been that it’s made marketers really push for efficiency and to know where every dollar is being spent. The pressure is on to really improve the measurement. I think that has actually led to a lot of initiatives in the last year, more so than probably would have happened if we weren’t all sitting at home, having Zoom calls all day long, and wanting to tell something to the marketers that would solve their problem of cross-media measurement. I think it’s a cliche to say that COVID has accelerated the digital revolution by about five years, but it’s really true. MB: On that, are you seeing the change being driven by buyers or sellers under those conditions? JC: What’s happened is that the buyers are just putting more pressure on the sellers. It started at the beginning of COVID when, all of a sudden, the market has just started pulling back all their advertising because they weren’t sure about what was going to happen and they didn’t want their ads out there in questionable content and very negative news. So, there was kind of an immediate pullback and a re-questioning of everything.Jane Clark Quote That forced marketers to push forward their agenda even more; that they’ve always been asking for holistic end-to-end measurement. “Well, if you’re going to sell me a cross-platform package, tell me what’s my deduplicated reach across that whole package. I need to know if I’m reaching new people.” With more people home watching more television during the day and everything, marketers are increasingly sensitive about over frequency and that, especially on television, they think it’s a really annoying customer experience or viewer experience to see the same ad over and over and over again. It doesn’t help the marketer at all. There’s been a real push to help them to get this unified end-to-end view across all the platforms so that they can manage frequency and really understand the impact of which platforms are working for them. MB: I would’ve thought that with everyone being stuck at home that sports, when it returned, would have been off the charts from a viewership standpoint. But obviously, we’ve seen time spent with video go up, while sports viewership has gone down significantly. It’s gone down so much that it’s created an interesting challenge for marketers because these mass reach opportunities just aren’t there like they were before. JC: Yeah, I’m personally not completely sure that that whole story has been told yet because I think some people were watching the Super Bowl on other platforms and it didn’t get fully counted in those numbers that go out. There are a lot of options and there’s a lot of streaming. I mean, that’s what it does; it gives people more options to watch more things. The marketers have to deal with a world that’s both got some opportunities for mass reach and opportunities for targeting and for finding audiences wherever they are and targeting the messages that way. I think TV is in the middle of a revolution of bringing some of the digital techniques, not in the same way that they were applied in digital, but just starting with the idea that you don’t always have to link your TV around a particular kind of content. There might be reasons to do that both from a branding point of view, as well as from a mass reach point of view. You can also find audiences that you’re looking for in a lot of different places that might seem unexpected to you. I think marketers are starting to look at this in different ways and the way they use television in their media plan is changing. MB: Excellent. One area I want to get your take on is at Cross Screen Media our core focus is local and that seems to add another level of fragmentation to all of this. We’ve got customers that when they’re using set-top box data, certain markets they’ve got, are good for their solution or not. Obviously, it seems like this creates a challenge for panels because of that fragmentation of markets. How should local buyers and sellers be approaching this challenge? JC: I actually think it’s a terrific time in local media for television and addressable television as well because it was always the problem before. The Nielsen local panel has not been accredited for quite a while, because it was always a challenge to get 400 people in any market or just a meter in certain markets that didn’t even have one. There have been so many challenges with how to do panels cost-efficiently in 210 markets across the country. The huge improvement now with set-top boxes and smart TV data is you’re able to combine those data sets and get not only nationally representative data sets, but actually representative data sets that are pretty good in almost every market across the country; that’s a huge benefit. Comscore builds their TV measurement product starting in the local markets then building it up to national. I think they have a huge focus on local market TV measurement. The addressability that’s happened has been going on for 20 years in cable and satellite, where you’re able to do zone addressable or ZIP code addressable, ZIP+4, and even down to household addressable. But people haven’t really always had the creativity to do that. You’ve been able to do that kind of addressability technically in local markets for a long time. Now, that improvement is finally coming to national. Local is really leading in the addressable space. I think there’s a lot of encouragement for local TV measurement. I think they’ve been grateful for the release of the set-top box and the smart TV data because it’s really improved their measurement. They used to see, when Nielsen would show the 10:00 news, that there was no audience; zero. They would have these zero cells, they called them and everybody knew there was somebody there, but they could never show it until they had the set-top box data. So, I think that’s been huge. MB: A lot of inventory and cable everywhere where you just had your two asterisks on the price. So, a bit of a big improvement. One big picture question, in two parts, what’s the single biggest change you’ve seen maybe in the last five to 10 years? And then looking forward, what’s the one item that you’re most excited about? JC: It’s kind of related. The fact that the TV networks are becoming data owners is just a huge shift in perspective and that it really changes the whole dynamic of how you do measurement and what’s the role of third-party measurement firms in an era when everybody owns their own data. There was a funny story when Google was a member of CIMM and had first joined, we brought them to a meeting and they wanted to talk about how great it is to have first-party data. And all the TV networks were looking at them like, “Well, what do you mean? Don’t you want a third-party research vendor to help to show how you compare against your competitors?” They said, “No. No, we really don’t want that. We have our own data ecosystem and we like to show the marketers how we can help them to use their data combined with our data. We can place their audience, find their audiences all across our platform. Then we can give them attribution and show them the impact of what they did.” The networks were just looking at them like aliens had just landed on Earth or something. That was about five years ago, and now they are all data owners and they completely get it. They don’t want to just give up that data to a third party. They want to learn how to use that in the best way possible for them and for their marketing partners. On the other hand, what then becomes frustrating, as I mentioned before, is when the buyers don’t have a holistic end-to-end view and they’re getting different data from everybody that’s not standardized. So, I think that they are finally realizing, now that they’ve gotten over all the euphoria, that they’re a data owner. I think they’ve also realized that collaborating with other networks in a TV premium video ecosystem makes a lot of sense for all of them because even Google and Facebook look at the TV ecosystem as if it’s all one ecosystem but it doesn’t really act like one. There are so many differences, local and national and different by continent, sports, and genre. There are so many, in syndication, and VOD… There are so many different corners of the TV video ecosystem. I think they’re starting to see that there’s benefit in working together and not just showing what you can do to the marketers, but showing how that also fits together with your whole ecosystem. MB: Yeah, I’m fascinated. These distribution deals between streaming hardware providers and networks and the different elements that are part of that have been fascinating. The data and where you can sell. That’s obviously such a huge part of everyone’s future shown up in these deals. JC: Once you’re a data owner, and have data and content and then you also have a consumer relationship that’s a big change for the networks. They’re direct-to-consumer now and they have subscriber relationships now. It’s a whole new mindset for them to think about customer loyalty and churn while figuring out how to maintain that relationship and protect the data while using it in a way that works for everybody. MB: Excellent. We’ll get you out of here on one last question we ask all of our guests, we’re starting a book club here. If you could get your whole team to read one book right now, what would it be and why? JC: Well, one of our speakers at the summit actually, that last closing fireside chat was one of my favorite guys, Rishad Tobaccowala, who had been an advisor at Publicis Groupe for many years, and now he’s kind of a more senior advisor, retired, semi-retired and he’s an author. And his book that he put out last year is Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data. I think it’s great. He also has a fantastic blog called The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past and I highly recommend that to everyone. MB: That is actually a repeat recommendation for us on the podcast. And actually, I’m just wrapping it up right now. It’s an excellent book. Well, thank you very much. I know our community’s going to love the conversation. What’s the best way for people to get in touch with you or find you on the internet? JC: There’s a lot of good stuff on our website, cimm-us.org. We put all our reports up there after the members have had a chance to benefit from them for our month or two, and then we make everything public, or they can also just reach out to me on LinkedIn too. MB: Excellent. Well, thank you. I appreciate your time. JC: Thank you.

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MediaPost - CIMM Day 1: Essence Media Chief Calls For 'Wholesale' Measurement Change

This article citing insights from CIMM's annual Summit was originally published via MediaPost. By While the convergence of TV and digital video audience measurement has made material strides in the past year, much more needs to be done before the advertising industry has the kind of frictionless planning and buying tools needed to understand the reach and frequency, duplication and attribution of viewers. That was the consensus of a series of panel discussions on Day 1 of CIMM’s (Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement) virtual summit on Wednesday.

In panels that evoked metaphors ranging from “climate change” to “the red pill in the Matrix” to “Dr. Strangelove 2021,” advertising and video industry research experts debated how to put the right “building blocks” together and get past the kind of partisan selling that has impeded a new, unified industry currency.

“The industry is making progress in all of these areas, but much more work needs to be done as technical and business challenges remain,” said CIMM CEO and Managing Director Jane Clarke during her opening remarks, which cited strides in made during the past year in standardizing smart TV and digital set-top data, as well as “ID resolution” to enable the “deduplication of audiences,” but the complexity of what still needs to be done was underscored by a chart used by opening panel moderator EY’s Janet Balis. The chart (see below) is an eye-straining attempt to organize all the elements the industry needs to consider based on a workshop conducted by EY.

She also presented a somewhat cleaner, but still quite complex organization dubbed “Adam’s Wheel” (see bottom), which she said was named after panelist Adam Gerber, Global Chief Media Officer at GroupM’s Essence.

During the panel that followed, Gerber agreed with other panelists that some strides were made in the past year, partly due to the impetus of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he said the industry already was “behind the eight ball” before it, and that changes in consumer behavior have only exacerbated the need to resolve the impediments to accurately measuring their behavior.

“We have a fire under us that needs to be addressed,” he said, adding that the industry needs to make “wholesale” changes and “instigate even faster adoption.”

Specifically, Gerber said one of the main impediments is the fact that many suppliers still strive to provide measures that highlight their own inventory at the detriment of marketers’ needs to understand what consumers are doing holistically.

“We’re seeing a number of initiatives to integrate different platforms and data initiatives in the industry to support campaign-level or marketer-centric initiatives, not just publisher or platform capabilities,” he cited.

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MediaPost - Helping Industry Move To Cross-Media Measurement: Q&A With CIMM's Jane Clarke

This Q&A with CIMM's Jane Clarke was originally published by MediaPost. By  , Op-Ed Contributor, February 2, 2021 Once again CIMM launches its Cross-Platform Video Measurement & Data Summit, which brings together experts from the industry. This year, its tenth, is virtual and can offer insights into how the industry is adjusting during the pandemic and beyond.   Charlene Weisler: What are the biggest issues facing media measurement at this time? Jane Clarke: Media and cross-media measurement is viewed differently depending if you are a buyer or a seller.  From a buyer POV (marketer/agency), the biggest issue is complete cross-channel ROI measurement, which includes all marketing, advertising and promotional aspects of a campaign or ongoing marketing effort. Marketers try to link one common impressions metric across all forms of advertising and marketing, by connecting them to an ID-graph that can provide ID resolution across all touchpoints and link the impressions to an outcome KPI, such as sales, site visits, app downloads, offline store/restaurant visits or other metric. From the POV of a media seller, they are typically trying to deduplicate reach across traditional and digital forms of their media, such as between all forms of TV/premium video, and prove outcomes for their inventory. Weisler: What initiatives are in the forefront of handling these issues?  Clarke: The media committee of the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has published a Framework for Cross-Media Measurement, along with a Technical Blueprint.  The main goal is to deduplicate reach across the walled gardens and other digital publishers and TV, in a way that protects data security for the data owners. The WFA design is being adapted to work as a pilot test by ISBA in the U.K. and the ANA in the U.S.  However, since the design was originally from a digital data security POV, it has been challenging to incorporate TV data, which uses different methodologies in different markets. There are also many commercial initiatives to address these measurement challenges, as well as proprietary systems created or in development from agencies, media companies and MVPD consortiums. Additionally, the MRC launched its cross-media measurement standards, and the IAB is working on a replacement for the cookie. CIMM has completed initiatives aimed at addressing some of the four building blocks for cross-media measurement: 1) Standardized and scaled granular smart TV and STB data for content and ads combined to be as nationally representative as possible; 2) standardized digital content and ad exposure data across sites and mobile apps; 3) a single-source cross-media measurement panel, or a linked combination of single media measurement panels, to calibrate the large “census-like” datasets; and 4) a solution for ID resolution to connect all the datasets and deduplicate them. We just launched best practices in combining smart TV and set-top-box Data, and last fall we published to our site a design for TV Data Interoperability & ID Resolution. Weisler: How has the pandemic impacted measurement issues? Clarke: Panel measurement has been more challenged than other research during the pandemic, since it’s been hard to recruit new panelists when they don’t want to allow home visits.  Existing panels, such as Nielsen, have had challenges replacing panelists and monitoring issues with current panelists and maintaining compliance with “checking in for person’s measurement,” as more panelists stay in the panels longer.  New panels have been challenged to launch, due to these same considerations. Weisler: What will be the most impactful efforts we can do to improve measurement?  Clarke: Data owners need to agree with the methods being developed to protect data security, in order to agree to make their data available to industry solutions.  Standardizing digital video app and site player usage is critical to cross-media measurement. Many companies use Conviva as a standardized mobile SDK for monitoring customer experience within an app, which gathers second-by-second viewing data that is standard across their customers, but the data are still owned by the media company.  It would be great for the media companies to standardize around this solution. Weisler: How close are we to an industry effort? Clarke: It has been a big change to get marketers involved in creating the solutions for cross-media measurement, since they have leverage.  However, the TV industry needs to decide which solution it wants to support.  The different media companies, MVPDs and consortia such as OpenAP, Ampersand and Xandr, all have different proprietary approaches to creating a unified and standardized platform to plan, activate, measure and conduct attribution against all their TV/premium video inventory.  They need to come together around one solution before they can collaborate additionally with the walled gardens to deliver the solution that marketers seek.

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The Pandemic Underscores The Need For A Unified Approach To TV And Video Measurement (AdExchanger)

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Jane Clarke headshot"On TV And Video" is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video. Today’s column is written by Jane Clarke, managing director and CEO at the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM). The dramatic shifts in TV and premium video viewership driven by the COVID-19 crisis has confirmed that consumers care more about what they’re watching than how they’re watching it. To the viewer, TV is one big premium video platform, with many different ways to access it. And measurement needs to align with this reality. It’s time for a unified approach that includes all TV and premium video – one that harmonizes data across platforms for all providers across all kinds of audiences. Historically, television has depended upon panels for measurement. Panels play a critical role and will continue to do so. But to meet the needs of the industry today, we need to start with granular exposure data that is comparable for all platforms. Panels can be used to help calibrate these data. But data must be the starting point rather than a 40,000 or so member panel. Last month, CIMM launched an initiative to move the industry closer to this new approach. The organization is developing best practices for building large-scale, granular data sets to measure all forms of TV exposure by combining the anonymous data from both smart TVs and set-top boxes. Smart TV data provides a broad geographic footprint and can also help refine the edit rules for on-demand and linear tuning data from set-top boxes. On the other hand, set-top box data provides a fuller picture of TV tuning for the majority of sets in a household. These combined datasets still lack data on broadcast network audiences in the shrinking number of homes without either broadband access or pay-TV subscriptions – the so-called “over-the-air” (OTA) households. However, the combination comes closer to providing data on the majority of US households, which can then be further calibrated for OTA households and any other missing data via traditional panel methodology. Additionally, panels are still required to understand who and how many people are in front of the TV set. We hope to bring further transparency and industry confidence in using these new hybrid (data + panel) approaches to TV measurement. As it is, smart TVs can report tuning data in near real time, but the automatic content recognition data they collect isn’t representative of all TV sets in the average home, and it still misses some exposures due to technical limitations. Set-top box data are sourced from a much larger household footprint than smart TVs, but it also takes more time to calibrate the set-top box signals to exposure metrics and match the program schedule.  The industry needs insight into how combining the data can bring a better solution for releasing more accurate tuning data faster. Understanding how to leverage smart TV and set-top box data together will not only improve household data quality, but also help create a blueprint for more nationally representative TV exposure datasets that can be used for cross-platform planning, activation and attribution measurement across all audience segments. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated a change that was already underway. The challenges it presents in understanding rapidly changing behavior underscores how important large datasets are to getting a granular and accurate view of video consumption across all consumers, regardless of fragmented behavior. The need to understand – from a holistic point of view – how TV and premium video is consumed has made clear what we already knew: the time has come for an advanced approach to measurement that is more in keeping with how consumers access content. Coming out of this crisis, TV will not be the same. But to fully and accurately understand those changes, the industry needs a unified approach to measurement and methodology. Follow CIMM (@CIMM_NEWS) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.
View the original article on AdExchanger.

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TV ads are facing a watershed moment (Star Tribune)

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Splashy, big-budget commercials might be a thing of the past.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the TV networks were expecting a strong 2020. But things have changed — and perhaps permanently.

Instead of its usual prime-time commercial for Memorial Day, Walmart skipped TV this year, going with an ad made for social media that shows a store manager reciting an inspirational poem. It was filmed by a small crew at a Walmart in Arizona and augmented with animation.

This could be the future of television advertising: fast, cheap, minimalist.

“TV was already in the middle of a huge revolution, and it’s only going to intensify, because now advertisers’ money is tight,” said Jane Clarke, chief executive of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, a trade group.

The economic fallout of the pandemic has caused companies to slash TV ad budgets by more than 40%, according to research firm Kantar. As a result, networks are expected lose out on $25.5 billion in spending before the year is over, the research group WARC predicts.

Things also have changed in the way ad time is sold. In a typical year, up to 80% of the space available for the approaching TV season is sold before a single show is aired. This year, advertisers are waiting to see how the season goes before signing on the dotted line.

So far, the number of deals is “probably not coming close to the usual volumes,” said Tim Nollen, an analyst with Macquarie Capital, in a note to investors in May.

“Advertisers have a lot more questions about actual metrics, and they’re putting fewer dollars in less accountable environments where it’s harder to measure results,” said Tal Chalozin, co-founder of Innovid, an ad-tech company.

In the new mediascape, big-budget TV commercials could become something of a rarity, said Edward E. Timke, an advertising expert at Duke University.

“This is going to be a watershed moment in history, where ad agencies or their clients are going to be forced to rethink how they produce and how they create,” he said. “Maybe ads with big productions will become the exception, rather than the norm.”

View the original article on Star Tribune.

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2025 Global Outlook: Disney+, Netflix To Add 460M Subs; Pay TV To Add 35M, See Revenue Drop 26% (MediaPost)

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by   @KLmarketdaily, May 29, 2020 Global pay-TV revenue, which peaked in 2016 at $202 billion, will drop to $150 billion, or by 26%, within five years, projects Digital TV Research. That’s the same research firm that, based on its reanalysis of data for 138 countries in the light of COVID-19’s impacts, now projects that OTT revenue will rise 101%, to $167 billion over the same 2019 to 2025 period. That includes 120% growth for ad-supported VOD, to $53.5 billion, and 103% growth for subscription-driven SVOD, to $97.5 billion. The drop in pay-TV revenue is expected despite an increase in total global pay-TV subscribers of 35 million or 3.4% over that period, from 717 million to 1.06 billion. Much of the revenue loss will result from subscribers converting from standalone TV to bundles in which they pay more overall to the operator but less on TV services, explained the firm’s principal analyst, Simon Murray. “Cord-cutting is also a major problem, especially in the U.S.,” he added. Indeed, of the 61 countries expected to see pay-TV revenue declines, the U.S.’s projected loss is the most dramatic: down $31 billion, or 35%, to $57.4 billion. Canada and Brazil are each projected to lose about $1 billion. The biggest exception will be India — projected to gain $812 million, or nearly 17%, to hit nearly $6 billion. China’s growth is estimated at $133 million, or 1.3%, bringing it to more than $10 billion. The top five countries will generate 56% of global pay-TV revenues, and the next 15 countries will generate 25% of the total, by 2025 — meaning that the top 20 will account for 81% of the total by 2025. Looking at subscriber trends, the researcher now projects that global SVOD subscriptions will increase by 519 million, or 81%, to 1.16 billion over the five-year period. The total will jump by 170 million in 2020 alone. The SVOD landscape will be heavily dominated by five global platforms, with combined paying subscribers totaling 640 million by 2025. Disney+ is projected to achieve the greatest growth, adding 176 million subscribers to hit 202 million by 2025. But Netflix will remain the global leader, adding 91 million subscribers, despite its maturity and already impressive reach, to reach 258 million by 2025. Amazon Prime Video is expected to grow to 141 million, but the HBO and Apple TV+ brands to just 25 million and 14 million, respectively. China’s domestic players (no foreign platforms are expected to penetrate the country) will account for 23% of the global total by 2025. Source: Digital TV Research In the pay TV arena, combined subscribers (households) for the various types of digital pay-TV will continue to see strong growth. Digital TV subscribers shot up from 380 million in 2010 to 990 million at year-end 2019, and are projected to hit 1.06 million by 2025. IPTV will see the largest growth, adding 84 million subscribers to reach 391 million, and upping its pay-TV subscriber share from 30% to 37%, between 2019 and 2025. However, its share of revenues is projected to be flat, ending 2025 at $27 billion. Satellite TV will lose 4 million subscribers in the same period, and see its share of total pay-TV subscribers decline from 21% to 20%. Satellite revenues will decline by $18 billion, including a $14 billion drop in the U.S. alone. Meanwhile, cable TV subscribers will continue to drop. Combined digital and analog subscribers dropped 9%, from 530 million in 2010 to 484 million in 2019, and are projected to fall by another 11% to 430 million by 2025. By that time, analog cable will account for just 1 million subscribers, versus 429 million for digital cable. Cable’s share of total pay-TV subscribers will have dropped to 47% by 2025 — a massive decline from its 74% share in 2010. Total global cable TV revenues (digital and analog) peaked at $97 billion in 2012, and are projected to drop to $63 billion by 2025. Digital TV Research's forecasts assume that professional sports will restart in August following relaxations in the COVID-19 lock-down. If that doesn't happen, pay TV will experience even more considerable churn, noted Murray. Source: Digital TV Research View the original article on MediaPost.

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The TV Commercial, Once Advertising’s Main Event, Suffers in the Pandemic (The New York Times)

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People are watching more television these days. But companies are spending less time, effort and money on TV ads.

The minimalist commercials of the pandemic are a long way from elaborate productions like Coca-Cola’s so-called Hilltop ad in 1971, featuring a rendition of the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”Credit...The Coca-Cola Company

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the TV networks were expecting a strong 2020. The presidential election and Tokyo Olympics would keep people watching, and companies would spend more than usual on commercial time.

But with the Summer Games postponed and campaign rallies on lockdown, television advertising revenue is likely to drop 12 percent this year, according to a projection by the research firm MoffettNathanson. Networks will lose out on $25.5 billion in spending, according to a report released on Thursday by the WARC research group.

Viewership is not the problem now that millions of homebound people have limited entertainment options. But the economic fallout of the pandemic has caused companies to slash TV ad budgets by more than 40 percent, according to the research firm Kantar. In response, networks have offered commercial time at double-digit discounts.

The approach taken by Lowe’s is typical of how companies have responded as the Covid-19 death toll in the United States reached 100,000.

A Lowe’s commercial from 2019: Human beings in a store.
A Lowe’s commercial from 2019: Human beings in a store.Credit...Lowe's
One year later: A smartphone in a utility room.
One year later: A smartphone in a utility room.Credit...Lowe's

The home improvement retailer spent more than $1 million to promote a Memorial Day discount on washer-dryer sets last year, according to the ad measurement company iSpot.TV, releasing an elaborate commercial with multiple actors in multiple locations. This year, the company used a 15-second commercial — a bare-bones production set in a utility room — for its summertime kickoff promotion.

Instead of its usual prime-time commercial for Memorial Day, Walmart skipped TV this year, going with an ad made for social media that shows a store manager reciting an inspirational poem. It was filmed by a small crew at a Walmart in Arizona and augmented with animation.

This could be the future of television advertising: fast, cheap, minimalist.

A recent digital-only commercial for Walmart, shot by a small crew, featured a company employee reciting inspirational verse.
A recent digital-only commercial for Walmart, shot by a small crew, featured a company employee reciting inspirational verse. Credit...Walmart

It’s a long way from the elaborate production numbers — Coca-Cola’s 1971 “Hilltop” ad; the “Joy of Pepsi” ad featuring Britney Spears, from 2001 — that made the television commercial advertising’s main event during the years when broadcast TV was a dominant medium, well before the rise of cord-cutting. The pandemic has only hastened the trend away from lavish TV ads.

“TV was already in the middle of a huge revolution, and it’s only going to intensify, because now advertisers’ money is tight,” said Jane Clarke, the chief executive of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, a trade group.

Before the pandemic, 30 percent of ad spending in the United States went toward TV commercials, while 56 percent went to purely digital platforms. By the end of the year, “this gap is really going to blow out,” with TV “falling more dramatically,” said Michael Nathanson, a founding partner of the MoffettNathanson research firm, in a recent conference call with clients.

Many companies have cut back on the big-budget commercial productions out of necessity, with filming largely shut down. In the first weeks of lockdown, new commercials were cobbled together out of old footage, and viewers were served one ad after another showing isolated people and empty streets set to a soundtrack of plaintive piano chords. More recently, the tone has shifted, with commercials focused on a return to normalcy and praise for essential workers.

Social distancing concerns helped drive a 25 percent increase in requests for ads made without the usual production crews, according to the ad agency Joan Creative. This type of commercial includes animated ads, ads shot by drones and ones made out of social-media videos, like a recent commercial from the paper towel maker Brawny. Companies may decide to stick with remote production because the costs are usually lower, according to the agency.

Companies are also rethinking the springtime ritual known as the upfronts, where major television networks compete for ad dollars by showcasing the upcoming season at celebrity-studded showcases and parties in New York. This year, executives from CBSNBC and ABC held online versions of the annual event, a much cheaper way to get the message across.

 Instead of a Carnegie Hall showcase, this year’s ViacomCBS presentation to advertisers was an online affair. Counter-clockwise from left, Keegan-Michael Key, LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell.
Instead of a Carnegie Hall showcase, this year’s ViacomCBS presentation to advertisers was an online affair. Counter-clockwise from left, Keegan-Michael Key, LL Cool J and Chris O’Donnell.Credit...ViacomCBS

The upfronts usually end with companies agreeing to buy up to 80 percent of the ad space available for the approaching TV season. This year, the networks are being flexible, allowing advertisers to wait and see how the season goes before asking them to sign on the dotted line. So far, the number of deals is “probably not coming close to the usual volumes,” said Tim Nollen, an analyst with Macquarie Capital, in a note to investors this month.

And more companies are demanding proof that TV commercials actually work. As online platforms like YouTube make a play for TV advertisers, networks are making the argument that they can match certain ads to specific households and track how many sales result.

“Advertisers have a lot more questions about actual metrics, and they’re putting fewer dollars in less accountable environments where it’s harder to measure results,” said Tal Chalozin, the co-founder of Innovid, an ad-tech company.

The pandemic has forced many companies to be more efficient with their advertising because they have less money to spend, said Ms. Clarke of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement. The crisis may encourage more ads made for owners of internet-connected TVs, using data to deliver customized messages to specific groups of viewers.

“You might see ads that feel more like they’re talking to you, and you won’t see as many of them — not those big, expensive ads over and over again,” she said.

In the new mediascape, big-statement, big-budget TV commercials could become something of a rarity, said Edward E. Timke, an advertising expert at Duke University.

“This is going to be a watershed moment in history, where ad agencies or their clients are going to be forced to rethink how they produce and how they create,” he said. “Maybe ads with big productions will become the exception, rather than the norm.”

Tiffany Hsu is a media reporter for the business desk, focusing on advertising and marketing. Previously, she covered breaking business news. Before joining The Times, she wrote about the California economy for The Los Angeles Times. @tiffkhsu View the original article on The New York Times.