Thursday

Striving for Gender Equality. Screenvision Partners with Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

In a time of hesitancy among media companies to take action in support of women’s rights, Screenvision is taking a more active role, as Christine Martino, EVP Ad Sales, explained. Her company has entered into a partnership with Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to raise awareness of gender bias in Hollywood. “Screenvision Media has always been an advocate for gender equality in the work place and in society, and with our connection to Hollywood and the movie industry, the partnership seemed like an ideal extension of the work we were already doing,” she stated. 

Films will be evaluated to determine if they earn the GDIQ-Check, a metric that analyzes films based on the screen time, speaking time, diversity and whether or not there are stereotypical representations of its female characters in accordance with our 19-point scoring system. 

Charlene Weisler: Are there set goals and if so what are they?

Christine Martino: We are bringing in a studio launch partner and highlight their upcoming films that meet an extensive, proprietary set of criteria for fair, diverse gender portrayal standards set by Screenvision and the Geena Davis Institute. Once we secure this partner, we will spotlight their upcoming films that have received this GDIQ-Check by integrating them into our new fixed content pod.  In this new feature in our Front + Center preshow, Geena will discuss her Institute’s mission and encourage moviegoers to go to theaters to see the films that are in support of this cause.  

Weisler: What type of impact do you hope to achieve?

Martino: We hope to encourage millions of moviegoers to support the featured GDIQ-Check films by seeing them in the theatre.  Screenvision sits at an important juncture of the media ecosystem: we are poised to bring together brands and movie-goers with content creators and distributors and we want to use this position to support the important cause of gender equality in media. 


Weisler: What are the biggest obstacles?
 

Martino: Our greatest challenges are bringing awareness to the gender inequality that still exists in Hollywood and encouraging more studios to support the Institute’s work.  We are looking forward to overcoming them to effect real and much-needed change.

Weisler: Where do you see this effort going three years from now?

Martino: We expect that multiple studios will want to be included and featured in our awareness campaign and that they will begin to change the way they evaluate the gender balance in their films before they are even in production. We believe supportive brands will surround this content feature and, in addition to attaching their advertisements to these GDIQ-Check films, look to accurately portray women in the advertisements themselves in support of all forms of media breaking the gender bias.

This article first appeared in Cynopsis

Monday

Sizing Up Advertising’s Future

Video advertising is not only on a healthy trajectory, it will be powered by programmatic, according to   Lauren Fisher, Principal Analyst, eMarketer who presented research findings at the recent VideoNuze conference. “U.S. advertisers invest nearly 2 times the amount of dollars in digital for every $1 in television spending today,” she noted at the conference. Recent eMarketer reports indicate that digital spend is booming, growing +19.1% to $129.34 billion this year and surpassing traditional TV spend by nearly $20 billion. That means digital now accounts for 54.2% of total US ad spending.

Power of Programmatic
But the path forward, according to Fisher, “requires programmatic to bring things together.” Programmatic, which she defined as the automated method of buying, selling or fulfilling advertising, currently accounts for $106.84 billion or 34% in digital spend. “It is growing faster than predicted,” she noted. By 2021 it is projected to exceed $10 billion. One factor that is accelerating programmatic is the desire to leverage first party data and advanced targeting for both advertisers and content owners. And, as programmatic expands into connected TV, “advanced targeting will be critical,” leading to more high value premium ad formats.

Importance of Connected TV
She predicted that Connected TV will become a significant factor in programmatic as well as in the larger media landscape. Over half of the U.S. population is connected TV users today and OTT represents over 60%. Connected TV spend, “will hit its stride 2020 and 2021, taking share from mobile,” she prophesized. But she noted that, “not all connected TV advertising will be programmatic. It will be packaged with other opportunities.”

It is still very early for programmatic TV, with “just 4% of TV ad dollars going through some form of automation.” Currently though, she sees the use of automation in planning and realizing more efficiency in buying and selling, inventory and audience discovery. “Advanced targeting is the entry point in the push into TV programmatic. Seven to 10% of the estimated portion of upfront inventory is going towards advanced targeting buying in the upfront. Not all is transacted programmatically but for many, this is where the value of programmatic begins,” she stated.

How to Move Forward
Among the factors affecting TV programmatic adoption is the industry’s ability to transition from legacy tools and systems. “It is currently difficult to change the ways of doing business and changing mindsets. It is critical to change in order to move forward with programmatic,” Fisher said. In addition, there are still concerns about the commoditization of inventory as well as concerns about consumer privacy and regulations. But the drumbeat of progress in programmatic indicates that these factors will be addressed as this advertising format grows.

This article first appeared in Cynopsis

Trust in Advertising: Where Does Traditional TV Stand?

Cartoon of handshake between man and womanThere are many challenges facing advertisers today, from attention and engagement to ad blocking and fraud. But trust in advertising trumps them all, according to MediaPost. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have viewer connection. Here’s a look at the state of trust in TV advertising today.

On-Demand vs. Linear TV
A recent Advertiser Perceptions study of 200 ad executives found that 73 percent factor in trust when deciding how to allocate their media ad budgets. For consumers, YouGov found that there is an attitudinal difference among on-demand TV viewers compared to linear TV viewers; on-demand viewers are more averse to traditional television commercials. For example:
  • 56 percent of on-demand viewers tend to mute TV ads compared to 48 percent of linear viewers.
  • 43 percent of on-demand viewers enjoy watching TV ads compared to 47 percent of linear TV viewers.
  • 54 percent of on-demand viewers don’t trust TV ads compared to 48 percent of linear TV viewers.
All of these results are unsurprising. Linear TV viewers expect commercials, whereas on-demand viewers find commercial breaks to be intrusive.

Digital vs. Linear TV

Read the full article on the Videa blog.

Saturday

eMarketer Sizes Up Video Advertising’s Future



Video advertising is not only on a healthy trajectory, it will be powered by programmatic, according to  Lauren Fisher, Principal Analyst, eMarketer who presented research findings at the recent VideoNuze conference.

“U.S. advertisers invest nearly 2 times the amount of dollars in digital for every $1 in television spending today,” she noted at the conference. Recent eMarketer reports indicate that digital spend is booming, growing +19.1% to $129.34 billion this year and surpassing traditional TV spend by nearly $20 billion. That means digital now accounts for 54.2% of total US ad spending.

Power of Programmatic
But the path forward, according to Fisher, “requires programmatic to bring things together.” Programmatic, which she defined as the automated method of buying, selling or fulfilling advertising, currently accounts for $106.84 billion or 34% in digital spend. “It is growing faster than predicted,” she noted. By 2021 it is projected to exceed $10 billion.  One factor that is accelerating programmatic is the desire to leverage first party data and advanced targeting for both advertisers and content owners. And, as programmatic expands into connected TV, “advanced targeting will be critical,” leading to more high value premium ad formats.

Importance of Connected TV
She predicted that Connected TV will become a significant factor in programmatic as well as in the larger media landscape. Over half of the U.S. population is connected TV users today and OTT represents over 60%. Connected TV spend, “will hit its stride 2020 and 2021, taking share from mobile,” she prophesized. But she noted that, “not all connected TV advertising will be programmatic. It will be packaged with other opportunities.”

It is still very early for programmatic TV, with “just 4% of TV ad dollars going through some form of automation.” Currently though, she sees the use of automation in planning and realizing more efficiency in buying and selling, inventory and audience discovery. “Advanced targeting is the entry point in the push into TV programmatic. Seven to 10% of the estimated portion of upfront inventory is going towards advanced targeting buying in the upfront. Not all is transacted programmatically but for many, this is where the value of programmatic begins,” she stated.

How to Move Forward
Among the factors affecting TV programmatic adoption is the industry’s ability to transition from legacy tools and systems. “It is currently difficult to change the ways of doing business and changing mindsets. It is critical to change in order to move forward with programmatic,” Fisher said. In addition, there are still concerns about the commoditization of inventory as well as concerns about consumer privacy and regulations. But the drumbeat of progress in programmatic indicates that these factors will be addressed as this advertising format grows.   

This article first appeared in Cynopsis.

Friday

OpenAP CEO David Levy Is Engaging Consumers with Compelling Advertising

OpenAP CEO David Levy Is Engaging Consumers with Compelling AdvertisingDavid Levy has always been on a mission to "be more efficient with consumers' time and attention."  Throughout his career, he has focused on "what components of attention really matter."  His past contributions to the knowledge base of attention measurement are perfectly matched to maximizing the value of ad-supported television as part of his new role as the new Chief Executive Officer of OpenAP.

A Focus on Viewer Engagement
At his previous company, TrueX, which he co-founded and later sold to Fox, the challenge at the time was that "with the advent of digital advertising, we were in an unfortunate cycle of just putting more and more messaging in front of consumers and not actually getting quality attention because people were finding ways of avoiding the advertising," he recalled.  As a result, advertising effectiveness declined, as did the pricing, and "the only way to make enough money was by adding more ads per page."  His solution, he said, was to focus on "the most premium form of attention," which was dubbed an "engagement ad."

Engagement ads are full-screen experiences where the consumer is incentivized to interact with the ad for at least 30 seconds.  "We did a lot of work on the science of attention and how to drive quality interaction while offering consumers a better user experience," Levy explained.  By focusing on viewer engagement of ads in a world of greater ad-free options, media companies could "present consumers with an experience that was comparable to ad-free but within an ad-supported model," he added.

A Changing Ad-Supported Television Market
At Fox, Levy took the same focus on engagement that he had at TrueX and "brought it to the business challenges at Fox," where he worked in a Chief Operating Officer role for Fox's ad business.  Challenges to the ad-supported television model abound, not least of which is, "on one side you have Netflix and Amazon subsidizing these ad-free experiences, which consumers enjoy," and almost compelling ad-supported television to reduce its ad time to compete and create better consumer experiences.  "On the other hand, you have Facebook and Google flooding the market with valueless impressions -- highly targetable but with low attention," he asserted.  It was important to prove that the quality of attention could impact ROI.

The focus at Fox, which later proved pivotal for his role at OpenAP was three-fold:
  1. Reaching the right consumers by finding better data to target more relevant advertising to them.
  1. Once the right consumer was identified, developing ad products that best delivered those messages to the individual, "depending on where they were and on which device, where they were in the funnel, who they were."
  1. Developing measurement that not only measured the quality of the attention but also optimized the experiences down the funnel.
A Move to OpenAP
"If you really want to evoke change, doing something in silos is not conducive to success," Levy said.  "The only way you are going to transform the industry is doing it together.  So, when we were approached by Viacom and [WarnerMedia] to form OpenAP, the premise was closely aligned with our vision to find better ways to get more efficient with consumers' time and attention."

Levy "fell in love with the vision" and "the people around the table" from those competing companies.  The purchase of Fox by Disney enabled him to make the move to OpenAP and "get back to [his] entrepreneurial roots" while still "staying connected to some of the exciting business challenges with people [he had] been working with for so long."

Next Steps for OpenAP
"The best way to scale any new ad product or any new investment in bettering the advertising ecosystem is if we all do it together," Levy said. To that end, he is seeking "adoption from everybody" to enable scale for any new marketplace developments.  OpenAP will be in a position to "evaluate new ad products in data-driven linear and optimized linear addressable to unify around the way we buy advanced ad products."

Going forward, Levy sees OpenAP moving from phase one -- which focused on unifying audience data on linear by individual company -- to phase two -- which standardizes segments across all OpenAP members.  Phase two, just recently announced, will go from unified audiences to unified campaigns, so that, for example, auto intenders for Viacom will have the same behavioral composition as auto intenders for Fox.  "We are introducing a tool for OpenAP with which advertisers can come in, define the audience segment that they want -- it will be standard across everybody -- put in campaign requirements and get back a unified campaign proposal across all of the member publishers," he explained.

OpenAP is also launching a digital marketplace that goes further.  "You can define your audience segments and not just get back a unified proposal, but also optimize across all of the publishers for reach and audience segment," Levy said.  Beyond that, he is thinking about how to accelerate the mission.  "There are so many opportunities with a unified approach -- with ad products, with measurement and with one of the biggest opportunities; building out a much more sophisticated data infrastructure that can be leveraged across all of the publishers," he noted.  "This will ultimately bring an automated marketplace that is cross-publisher, cross-device together."  But, he hastened to add, this effort will focus solely on premium inventory in the market: Long-form television ad-supported content resulting in less waste, more ROI and greater viewer engagement.

This article first appeared in www.MediaVillage.com

Monday

Getting Emotional with Movies at the Screenvision Upfront

Image result for movie going“The true magic of cinema,” stated John Partilla, CEO Screenvision Media, “engages audiences through emotions” and creates “moments of wonder.” Screenvision’s 2019 upfront, held at the Ziegfeld Theater, highlighted not only the unique experience of attending a movie in a theater but also the unique quality of that type of content. “The essential point is that movie theaters, whether neighborhood or epic, are the cathedrals of storytelling,” Partilla explained, saying they have the ability to, “mesmerize audiences and reach, engage, powerfully impact and move consumers.”

Part of what makes movies different is that it is a shared experience with people you don’t know. Today’s cinemas are also adding accoutrements such as bar service and recliner chairs that make the experience more of an event. “2018 was the biggest year for movies,” noted Katy Loria, Screenvision’s Chief Revenue Officer, “with the highest box office ever with The Avengers.” She added that theaters attract audiences that are young, affluent, educated and socially active decision-makers.

Screenvision’s point of differentiation is that these audiences are essentially unreachable with TV because consumers have become streamers of glass content and avoid ads by either subscribing to SVOD or multitasking by using a digital device while watching TV. Dubbed the “unreachables” by Christine Martino, EVP, National Ad Sales, she posited that they are, “not distracted at the movies. They are craving to pay attention.” She advised advertisers that reallocating GRPs from TV to cinema will, “get those eyeballs back. Cinema is a solution to audience replacement. It is incremental reach.”

The company has been collecting data on moviegoers for last four years and now has a deep understanding of viewer needs, actions, habits and media consumption at the screen level. Among the new technological innovations are pixels built into the screen and a smart network which are access points to advanced targeting. This will extend beyond the screen to social retargeting and measuring attribution. They have also recently constructed new metric – an engagement rating.

In addition to data initiatives that highlight the value of cinema audiences, Screenvision also announced a partnership with the Geena Davis institute to support films that break through stereotypes to identify those scripts and films that show balanced portrayals of women and girls. This pro-social partnership will be featured in segment in Screenvision’s preshow.

In a world where viewers have the option to view content anywhere at any time, the ability to lean back in the dark comfort of a cushy chair and share an emotional experience with a group of strangers may just break through the haze of device distractions.

This article first appeared in Cynopsis

Saturday

Simulmedia’s Dave Morgan Seeks Bold Change

Dave Morgan, CEO Simulmedia, made headlines recently when he resigned from the board of the ARF, citing the need for bolder action in fixing ad measurement.  According to Morgan, “We do not have a trusted way to measure the basics of impression reach and frequency across channels, even just the big media channels like linear TV, digital banners, digital video and radio.”
 
He shares his views on the state of the industry, its challenges and opportunities, to help clarify this position:

Charlene Weisler: I know your decision sparked a lot of industry discussion. What is holding us back in measurement?

Dave Morgan: It’s not because we lack the technology to do it. It’s because many lack the will to lead and drive it. The industry has sat back and let the Google and Facebook own the measurement and attribution stage and claim virtually all of the overall ad industry’s growth.

Weisler: How has the media landscape changed since you first launched Simulmedia?

Dave Morgan: A lot has changed, particularly in the world of video. Television didn’t go away – more people watch more live linear TV than in 2009 – but the viewing is much, much more fragmented across many more channels, programs, day-parts and devices. Plus we’ve seen a dramatic increase in streaming video viewing, most of it on connected TV’s, though only a small portion of it with ads. While digital video advertising has been a darling of the buying community for much of the past ten years, many of the advertisers have come to realize that it’s also fraught with problematic measurement, a lot of unsuitable content and way too much outright fraud. This is now driving a lot of large national advertisers to reevaluate TV, particularly now that there are platforms like ours that bring digital, audience approaches to TV ad targeting, activation and optimization.

Weisler: What are the major challenges that you face?

Morgan: Education. Industry trades, press releases and conference stages are loaded with a never-ending swirl of bright, shiny objects and acronyms-of-the-month, creating confusion and sowing too much misinformation.

Weisler: What is the current state of addressable advertising?

Morgan: Addressable advertising on TV is beginning to have its moment. While it will always lack the scale, quick impact and efficiency of data-optimized linear buys, it is becoming a powerful complement to more conventional linear and data-optimized buys and OTT ad buys.

Weisler: What is the current state of attribution?

Morgan: Attribution needs a lot of help. Walled Gardens like Google and Facebook have stolen the march by building strong, though naturally biased solutions of their own and working tirelessly to promote and educate their capabilities. We need more aggressive leadership here, and in advertising measurement generally, by the advertisers themselves. I am hopeful that the recent efforts of the Association of National Advertisers in this area will make a real impact.

Weisler: What do you think the media landscape will look like three years from now?

Morgan: In 2022, we’ll still see 80% of the premium video ad load on linear TV, but most video campaigns will be much better coordinated across linear TV and OTT and we’ll see a real resurgence and growth regional, mid-sized agencies as they begin to leverage software, data and superior client service and strategy to manage national media as well or better than large holding company agencies.

This article first appeared in Cynopsis.