Nielsen Creates Unique Data Solutions for Their Clients

I have heard that, when it comes to data, clients are like snowflakes. Each one is unique in what they need to get from the data. In a media ecosystem that is rapidly transforming, the uniqueness of each client’s competing needs is one challenge that Nielsen is facing head on.

At their recent Press Breakfast, Sara Erichson, EVP Client Solutions and Audience Insights, Jessica Hogue, SVP Product Leadership and Kelly Abcarian, SVP Product Leadership, brought us up to date on Nielsen’s work in cross device and ad tech data measurement. The presentations included real life examples from clients as to how the data can be used to gain further insights.

The Viewing Paradigm
Erichson’s presentation, titled, “The current media ecosystem and the growth of TV connected devices” shared trends in cumulative media consumption:

·      > The amount of time Adults 18+ spent consuming media is at an all- time high of twelve hours a day – a remarkable amount of time, indicating greater simultaneous multi-device usage. We seem to be multi-tasking more than ever. Notably, the digital portion of this number does not include emails and texts.. And the trend from 2002 to 2016 shows consistent growth. At some point we may not sleep!

·        >  Driven by the overall proliferation of devices, the growth from 2011 to 2016 is fueled by mobile. Radio and Live TV consumption have been fairly consistent over the past 14 years.

·         > Smartphone ownership/access is currently 86% as reported by the scaled Nielsen panel as of February 2017, growing +6% from year ago levels. SVOD (57% of US homes) has overtaken DVR (54%) and is growing at a faster pace (+13% vs +7% respectively). Internet Connected Devices (31%) and Enabled Smart TV (29%) have the lowest percentage of adoption at this time, but just wait – they are the two fastest growing sectors, according to Nielsen (both up +29%).

·       > And yet, with all of these stresses to business-as-usual, daily time spent viewing both Live and Time Shifted TV by A25-54’s has remained remarkably flat quarter over  quarter for three of the past four quarters, but did decline some in Q1 2017.  However, Erichson noted a recent decline of -18 minutes of viewing per day for Live TV. Viewing patterns vary by age so viewing patterns could vary, especially among younger viewers.. “There are more devices connected to TV than ever before,” she stated. This will inevitably intrude on the viewing status quo.

Using the Data For Specific Client Insights
Jessica Hogue’s presentation showcased specific client applications of the data. Citing Nielsen’s Total Audience measurement initiative, she described the three main facets of Total Audience that gives Nielsen the “flexibility to measure all content with consistent and comparable metrics for content and ads and to provide transparency for media ecosystem.”

·         Commercials in Content Measurement which includes VOD, Any Linear TV Watched on a Digital Device and Out of Home.
·         > Ad Measurement which includes Total Ad Ratings and Digital Ad Ratings.
·        >  Content Measurement which includes Total Content Ratings, Digital Content Ratings and VOD 
      > Content Ratings.

Using specific client examples, Hogue cited CBS which was able to attribute greater viewership to VOD and DVR usage for Persons 2+. “CBS prime series grew an average 54% with VOD and DVR, than its live TV viewing,” she stated.  And the growth varied by program. For example, The Big Bang Theory gained +67% in viewership, Live+35 Days vs Live Same Day.
Turner was able to ascertain growing viewership loyalty to their program, Good Behavior on TNT. Adults 18-49 Live+3 viewing grew over the weeks while VOD viewing declined indicating that the program was becoming more of an appointment view. Tracking the viewership of the premiere episode alone, that episode gained +37% in VOD over time as viewers sought to catch up. “Different programs have a different mix of DVR and VOD,” explained Hogue.
ESPN made good use of Nielsen’s Out of Home panel data noting that sports viewing grows overall by +9% when OOH is included. Some sports benefit more than others; College Football Live was up +19%, NFL Live +17%, College Basketball regular season +12%, for example. Interestingly, OOH is more female and younger A18-34 from Broadcast only or Broadband only homes. “We capture cord cutters,” concluded Hogue.

The Future
In tackling the data snowstorm, Nielsen has been “evolving audience segments for planning, activation and measurement,” according to Kelly Abcarian essentially cultivating standard segmentations that can be used industry-wide. The MRC recently accredited Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings Viewability integration of IAS and Moat and Nielsen’s Digital TV Ratings. “ This is the first solution to receive accreditation from the MRC for its contribution to TV audience measurement for programming viewed on computers and mobile devices,” noted Abcarian. 

Nielsen’s goal is to “Deliver on next day audience behavioral segments by making them available in 3rd-party buying platforms, such as Media Ocean,” she added. “Nielsen will enable standardized segments delivered against high quality  universe estimates based on real people and true behaviors. The plan is to syndicate these segments and make them available into buying systems so clients can transact on either age/gender or advanced demographics across Linear TV.”

“It is clear to us that the days of Live 3 and even Live 7 measurement is insufficient because the percent of viewing is getting more dispersed by day, by platform and by pre-existing audiences, such as OOH, that we have never captured before,” explained Erichson. “It is the combination of those incremental measurements where everything is going. But every network has to make its own priorities as to where its own audiences exist,” she concluded. 

Bring on the snowstorm.

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Ben Tatta of 605 on the Future of Legacy Measurement

As Co-Founder and President of 605, Ben Tatta has embarked on an exciting new venture, working alongside Kristin Dolan, who has a deep appreciation for the increasing value and importance of data and analytics in the media and entertainment industries. 

605 launched late last year when Dolan Family Ventures acquired Analytics Media Group (AMG), which targeted and optimized TV messages for the 2012 Obama campaign and transitioned into advising corporations in their marketing and advertising efforts through analysis of a national footprint of viewing data from a variety of sources.

Twenty-five years ago Tatta worked for the publishing division of ABC when it was just starting to convert everything from print to digital. Following that, he helped large media companies adopt a web presence. Next, at USA Network, he began to work in the convergence of digital and television. It was there he gained more appreciation for advanced TV, which solidified a triple play of experience in cross platform conversion, data and advanced media. Tatta and I met while we both worked for Cablevision (I was at a division of Cablevision - Rainbow Media, now AMC Networks) where he was a huge supporter of set-top box data and a source of knowledge on sales applications like telescoping. He ran the media sales division and also launched their new data analytics group where he "cut his teeth" learning and applying innovative firsts using set-top box data for advertising and programming analytics.

I reconnected with my former colleague to ask him about his new venture.

Charlene Weisler: What is your definition of TV?

Ben Tatta: I see it more as content. Television is programming predominantly watched on the large screen -- but it doesn't need to be. TV content is pushed online but commoditizing it as video doesn't do it justice. A lot of TV is characterized as video content but not a lot of video content is TV-worthy content. There is a great difference between commercial, paid TV programming and user-generated video in terms of the storytelling, the episodic nature and session lengths of either -- the average length of view.  Its like a novel versus comics.  Both could be considered forms of literature but each is different (because of) the way viewers consume and interact with them.

Weisler: Tell me about 605.

Tatta: The business is focused on leveraging census-level audience data derived from set-top boxes and other connected devices to provide more precise measurement for programmers and advertisers. We feel strongly that today's legacy measurement is not adequate in keeping up with audience fragmentation and it is certainly data that is not actionable. TV can gain tremendously by being able to mirror a lot of the optimization and measurement capabilities that are currently available on digital platforms. We are focused on aggregating as much set-top box data as possible from MVPDs across the country and then putting that into a form that is both actionable and measureable. In this way, programmers and advertisers can get more actionable data and insights to understand how content and advertising is performing and how to best optimize it.

Weisler: What do you think the future is for legacy measurement of age and gender?

Tatta: These are two attributes among thousands that are currently available and so they are a proxy for what an advertiser is really interested in. Many major marketers today have very granular CRM systems and know who their audiences are. The more that we as an industry can extend their own definition of customer and prospect rather than having to put it through an age and gender sell through, the better we are. The big question is "Are age and gender going to continue to be the basis of currency?"  Our general philosophy is that even though advertisers are buying on age and gender today, that doesn't mean that they can't measure and optimize on more granular attributes. For the time being, there is an opportunity to augment age and gender with a whole litany of other attributes. Over time it will evolve to a hybrid or new currency.

Weisler: Where do you see legacy measurement three years from now?

Tatta: Its hard to know where things will go but in England they have already developed a hybrid measurement. There will always be a role for focus groups or panels to study certain things and to aggregate from that. Where it is deficient is in measuring things that are too small or niche. People are moving into non-measured modes or modes that cannot be measured by the existing panel. That is a fundamental problem that needs to be fixed. Having a more census-based approach with all of this new data will tackle that. So, if an ad campaign is not converting well, we can then understand why (that is happening). Is it the message?  Is it the media?  Is it the scheduling?  We can then effectively measure the optimization techniques that are put into place. At that point, GRPs will become less relevant.


ROAS vs. ROI: Painting the Right Picture

Return on ad spend, or ROAS, is used to calculate the revenue made by advertising, while taking the actual cost of advertising into account. It might seem straightforward, but it’s a hotly discussed metric these days—and for good reason. Knowing what does and doesn’t work in an advertising campaign provides insight that can have huge implications for marketing strategy.

Knowledge, as they say, is power—and having a clear understanding of return on investment (ROI) and ROAS can make all the difference.

Mapping Measurements

Let’s take a deeper look: Although often mistaken for the same thing, ROI and ROAS are very distinct metrics. “Return on investment calculates how ads contribute to an organization’s bottom line, while return on ad spend is a media-centric metric that measures the effectiveness of advertising campaigns,” says Walt Horstman, senior vice president and general manager of analytics and advertising at TiVo.

Read the full article at Videa Blog.

Secret Meetings to Advance Advanced TV

Even something like the Secret Society cannot be kept secret for too long. On a very rainy day in New York City, the room was packed with attendees. 

The most recent meeting focused on, as Mitch Oscar, USIM Advanced Television Strategist, noted, “Dialoguing issues on Advanced TV.” Speakers from networks, agencies, data specialists and research companies offered their perspectives on the advantages, challenges and futures of Advanced TV, Addressable TV and Programmatic.

Data has never been more important to ad tech and the systems that are emerging for targeted advertising. In an important next step, some of the walled gardens are coming down as the industry is starting to coalesce around shared interests. Since the Secret Society meeting, Viacom, Fox and Turner announced their joint effort called OpenAP.

The full adoption of Advanced TV still has its strengths and challenges. Obviously, the ability to more finely hone an ad message delivered to the right audience makes Advanced TV a ‘must consider’. Yet, the available inventory is still somewhat restricted and issues like workflow, fragmentation and walled gardens need to be addressed. And we need more overall industry participation to accelerate progress.

Strengths and Challenges
      Ø  Targeting. Finally there is a way to go beyond age and gender in a meaningful way. For those of us who have been in the industry for a while, the opportunity to target is seismic. “In 1975 when I was negotiating for broadcast TV, it was the first year that the guarantees were based on age and gender and not household,” Oscar reminisced, “At that time we said, ‘households don’t buy products, people do.’ Forty plus years later, we are looking at households that have people of different ages and genders that exhibit behavioral characteristics as behavioral targets. We are getting closer to targeting people who might be interested in the product and eventually purchase it.”

      Ø  Inventory. However, there are not enough national opportunities to target. The inventory currently available in Advanced TV is two minutes of local inventory per hour.  

      Ø  Workflow and Fragmentation. “Workflow for audience systems does not exist. We need a universal workflow instead of taking bits and pieces from various media companies,” Oscar noted. But even before the workflow, there is a need to address the myriad of platforms, networks and data sources that silo efforts. “The most important challenge is how many different platforms and data sources there are,” he continued, “Seven addressable TV platforms, 15 programmatic platforms, 6 contextual audience networks that offer 31 flavors of products, and over 68 data sources across these platforms makes it difficult to evaluate and implement.”

      Ø  Participation. Getting more clients on board and involved is paramount according to Dave Morgan, CEO and Founder, Simulmedia. “It is critical that the Advanced TV industry work harder to get clients - the marketers - much more directly involved in development,” he stated, “Customer and purchase data is the key fuel in all Advanced TV applications and it is the client that controls that data.”

      Ø  Marketing Focus. Demonstrate the value of Advanced TV. Morgan believes, “We need to make it more about marketing - driving provable sales, ROI and other desired business outcomes - than advertising - delivering impressions and other media metrics. The future of advertising is about performance. That is where Advanced TV efforts should be focused.”

The Next Step
Arguably the next step in advancing Advanced TV is working together towards shared interests.Enter OpenAP. Audrey Steele, EVP, Sales Research Insights and Strategy, Fox Networks Group, spoke about OpenAP as a way to break down some of the walled gardens, set some level of standardization and accelerate the adoption of Advanced TV advertising. She explained that the three partners, Viacom, Fox and Turner, are “Frenemies,” who are, “similar in intent but the execution of sales inventory is different.” Steele noted that OpenAp:

     Ø  Offers the ability to optimize existing base buys.
     Ø  Is unified in need for standardization.
     Ø  Offers the promise of digital programmatic.
     Ø  Enables the most persuasive message for ad placement.
     Ø  Is an immersive environment with digital precision for your brand message
     Ø  Is fraud free and is transparent.

The Future
Some media executives believe that the future of Advanced TV is now and is quickly enlisting many more players. Morgan stated, “I think that we are going to see a significant acceleration of data-optimized linear TV ads, particularly as we see big enterprise tech companies like Oracle and Adobe getting more involved and as we see the big digital players like Facebook and Google getting more and more involved in TV advertising.”

Others think that despite the recent advancements, progress still seems slow. “In 1996 addressability was thought to happen any day now,” posited Oscar, “So we do have more platforms rolling out. But its deployment slow. Right now with Addressable TV, we have 34 million homes that can get addressable linear TV commercials and 19 million in the ad supported VOD addressable realm. That is 20 years later and we are nearly in half the country of 118 million homes.”

For me, while it has taken decades to reach this point, the technological rollout is accelerating and the industry is embracing all of the elements of a successful Advanced TV marketplace. So I believe that the future is now, as long as we keep the channels of discussion and cooperation flowing.

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Merging Digital and TV Ad Tech. Interview with TiVo’s Joan FitzGerald.

Joan Fitzgerald, VP Product Management and Business Development, TiVo, is a TV data expert whose work on the quantification of media defined her entire career. “I have had the good fortune of working with some of the world’s leading marketers on data and analytics innovation projects, including CPG, pharma, retail and media’” she stated. 

Her work at comScore helped to frame cross media measurement. “As new data became available – whether it was purchasing data or CRM data or digital data or television viewing data via the set top box – we developed new techniques for quantification of media effects, including econometric modeling and then attribution modeling,” she added. Now at TiVo, she is putting her skills to work using new data assets combined with new analytics techniques to achieve breakthroughs in understanding how advertising works. 

Charlene Weisler: Tell me about your current job at TiVo.

Joan Fitzgerald: I’m head of product management and business development for the emerging area of programmatic, data-driven video.  In joining TiVo, I was interested in tackling the question of how to integrate audience selling and data-driven TV into our operational and monetization systems.   Rovi – which recently acquired TiVo and kept the brand name -- had acquired a start-up with the right idea: Revenue and inventory management software that enables TV to deliver on the promise of audience-based targeting and data-driven TV, with significant operational workflow improvements. 

Charlene Weisler: How have TV and media measurement and research changed from when you first started?
Joan Fitzgerald: TV has always been a data-driven business, but it’s the form of the data and the availability of the data that has changed.  Visibility into viewership used to be limited to 3rd party research.  It’s hard to imagine this now, in this era of big data viewership assets, where there is visibility via STB, ACR, digital tags, DMPs and any number of other technologies.  The other significant change is the digital ecosystem itself:  It’s hard to understate the changes that the digital ecosystem has caused, including new ways of thinking about how TV can be more effective.    

Charlene Weisler: Where do you see the role of data in measurement going in the next three years?

Joan Fitzgerald: Media brands have made major investments in people, including data scientists and ‘big data’ engineers, and ad tech systems, such as inventory management systems from tech companies such as TiVo. Already, these investments are having a positive, transformative effect on the video business model, including expanding the currencies used for transactions so that they are more closely aligned with how marketers manage their brands.  The payout from this investment is going to significantly increase in a 3-year timeframe, with media brands continuing their historical track record for growth and innovation.    

Charlene Weisler: Give me your state of the art appraisal of cross platform measurement

Joan Fitzgerald: Today, digital and linear TV are separate throughout almost the entire ad tech stack.  This impacts our ability to measure the two platforms together.  As TV morphs into IPTV and into ATSC 3.0 delivery, the executional layers of the digital and TV ad tech stacks may become more similar to each other.  They may even converge.  This presents an opportunity for better cross platform measurement.  There’s a business layer too that needs thoughtful integration.  Media brands want to reduce complexity for their advertisers and sell “video advertising” rather than TV and digital separately.  Ad agencies are motivated to reduce the costs of operations in the same way.  We need systems that support an integrated approach at the business layer, while managing the execution layer so that we achieve new benefits such as measurement but continue to optimize by source of inventory.      

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