The Crossroads Between Online Video, TV, and the Future of Advertising
Verto Analytics was honored to feature Daniel Slotwiner (Director of Advertising Research, Facebook) at a small gathering in Manhattan last week. The Consul General of Finland graciously hosted the event, which featured an evening of conversation with executives from across the ad tech, media, and publishing industries.
One of the main themes of the night was the increasing convergence, mix, and interplay between TV and online. While internet and mobile innovations from Silicon Valley were initially seen as a competitive threat to the TV-centric industries in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and New York, now it’s fair to say that the differences between user experience and monetization between these platforms are rapidly disappearing.
Over the course of the evening, a number of topics that specifically address consumer behavior and content – specifically video – emerged:
- TV vs. Internet Video – Do consumers care? When we talk about video, we categorize it according to format (social, short-form or long-form), or based on device, channel, and platform, like TV. Increasingly consumers tend to be agnostic about the channel, device or screen, but instead adjust their consumption based on their social, physical context, and expectations for user experience. Video is being viewed via linear forms, time-shifted forms, on smart TVs, small mobile screens, on laptops, game consoles, even from smart watches.
- In addition to length format platform, video comes in varied flavors. There are new usage patterns and paradigms emerging for video, and the way video-related entertainment is being served up has become increasingly complex to measure. There is user-generated video content, instantly disappearing content, video advertising, interactive video, augmented reality, 3D video and virtual reality, and you can bet that more will emerge in the next few years.
- There is increasing interplay between traditional and second screens. Consumers today do not simply watch TV and do nothing else. Our research shows that multitasking and simultaneous usage have become the norm. For example, people use Facebook or Instagram while watching TV, and they receive second-screen ad targeting as part of the same campaign. That might mean that a consumer would be served travel-related ads on their tablet while they are watching travel documentaries on the main screen.
- Brands can target audiences in more places. As people exhibit more micro-behaviors, we have an opportunity to better understand context. For example, we can tap into location data or tie actions and payments to ads. The internet provides a more targetable media platform for first- and/or second-screen targeting.
Daniel spoke about Facebook’s variety of tools and programs that make it easier for cross-platform advertisers to target audiences more accurately and measure performance and lift. He and his team have worked hard to out-innovate the industry with new analytics and measurement solutions, and they’ve worked with multiple industry partners to improve third-party validation and transparency. Everyone agrees that there are enormous opportunities for measurement sciences and tools to improve even further. Daniel commented:
“Consumer behavior, particularly as it relates to media consumption, is changing rapidly. This consumer shift has strained existing measurement systems and requires industry collaboration to overcome. But, better measurement is only a minimum requirement for industry evolution – it is not sufficient. Structural and institutional barriers to real change are significant. True progress will come when the measurement systems are capable of capturing fragmented consumer behavior AND when the industry embraces scientific methods. Hypothesis testing. Transparency. Replicability. Once the industry organizes around testing and learning and makes decisions on the basis of sound research, we will see progress.”
Daniel’s comments resonate with me as I think about several recent meetings with key agencies and TV networks in the U.S. and EMEA. Throughout these conversations, I’ve heard a continuous call for the need for audience measurement standards to evolve in three specific areas:
- There are many players who want to define the measurement approach—advertisers, agencies, new platforms, and tech companies—not just the traditional media companies. There are an increasing number of demanding stakeholders who require more value and transparency from audience measurement services and methodologies.
- Siloed approaches need to evolve to incorporate single-source, cross-platform, and big data. There is a need for better granularity and capabilities to measure the impact of experiences (e.g. video viewing, or ad exposure).
- From hardware to online and mobile-centric measurement approaches, it is no longer operationally feasible to ask people to install hardware-based set top box meters at home and it’s not even legal in certain locations. Software-based approaches for media measurement, even for TV, are appearing on the market. This is particularly true in emerging markets in Asia and the Middle-East, but is also an increasingly popular tactic among certain demographic populations in the U.S. and Europe, such as Millennials.
As part of our efforts to help media companies, app publishers, and TV networks solve these issues and sell their cross-device, mobile-centric audience to the market, we will soon be offering a new product: Verto Audience Profiles. Based on our single-source consumer-centric panel measurement, we will offer validated third-party views of a publisher’s audience versus their competitors and the total target universe as well as provide robust behavioral and demographic profiles of their cross-platform audience. We’ll also be offering additional analysis angles such incremental overlapping reach, the number of unduplicated users, the cross-device user base, and the day-in-the-life patterns.
All of these will allow for easy, apples-to-apples comparisons of one audience against its peers and will help ad sales teams tell a better story. We’re not officially launching Audience Profiles until June, but click here to download our product preview deck, or contact us to schedule a demo.