Digiday provides a quick primer on key terms—just in time for the Upfronts.
The term measurement can be broken down into two parts: the tool of measurement and the metric of measurement. A ruler is a tool used to measure length in metrics such as inches or centimeters. A measurement company is a tool used to measure audience size or business results in metrics, such as unique viewers or website visits.
Currency is the value assigned to a metric and that is agreed upon by multiple parties. For example, a gallon of gas does not inherently have value, but it is ascribed value by people and companies thanks to its use as fuel, which is why gallons of gas are exchanged for money at gas stations.
So, currency can’t exist without some form of measurement to enumerate its value. One of the reasons for the confusion is that while some in the industry see currency as a subset of measurement, others argue it is rather an application of measurement — a state of something that only exists in the context of a transaction, which can include a potential transaction.
All of this is coming to a head in this year’s upfront marketplace, where billions of ad dollars are earmarked in advance by advertisers and their media agencies across these media options. The measuring of the services — and the currencies that can be generated from them — make for what’s expected to be a complex market for at least this year, if not longer.
In other words, whether a measurement is valued as a currency is in the eye of the beholder. As one head of investment at a major holding company-buying agency explained, “We may want to measure high-value audiences, we may want to measure outcomes, attribution, all these other things. Currency is the price we trade on, and it should include value.”
Source: Burgi, M. (2022, March 22). WTF is the difference between measurement and currency? Digiday.
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