Getting to the Right Target. AudienceApp Planning Tool Uses Data to Drive Sales. An Interview with Spectrum’s David Kline

I've known David Kline for over 18 years, having worked in his department when we were both at Rainbow Media.  Since 2015 he has been Executive Vice President at Charter and President of Spectrum Reach, overseeing the advertising sales division -- linear, digital, regional news and sports channels -- for Charter Communications.  We caught up recently and discussed the difference in data dependency these days, and his division's recent data-driven linear planning tool called AudienceApp.

Charlene Weisler:  At what point have you seen data truly impact the sales process?

David Kline:  The industry has used data in some capacity for many years.  But now it is taking place at an entirely different level, with advertisers of all sizes taking advantage of data.  It is amazing the data that we use in every one of our 80-plus markets.  You can go on an iPad and if you want to reach a segment of people making $100k+ that own a home and have a car lease is up in six months, we can optimize that buy using that data like we never had before.

Weisler:  How much is your current job dependent on data?

Kline:  I think about what data means to our clients, and for them it is absolutely essential.  Data is the new demand for advertisers.  They need it to compete.  Since we are only as successful as our clients, it's incredibly important to me and everyone at Spectrum Reach.

Weisler:  How finely can you get to target segments?  When do you know when a segment is too small to be stable?

Kline:  If a segment is too small to be stable or representative, it is usually less than a couple of percentage points.  We always advise our advertisers when it is not a big enough target.

Weisler:  Tell me about AudienceApp.

Kline:  It's the most advanced linear planning tool out there, giving our advertisers a simple, effective way to target their desired audiences on TV.   We rolled AudienceApp out over the last [18 months] in over 80 markets.  It is accessed through mobile devices such as an iPad so you can, for example, walk into a car dealership, ask what target audience you need to look at, choose from all types of propensities to buy, [study] demographic information and then choose the schedule, when you want it to run, and how much you want to spend or how many impressions you are seeking.  In seconds, it will sift through what could be millions or hundreds of millions of impressions looking at the viewership data, optimizing that buy and looking at what inventory is available at the best price.  In seconds, you have a schedule that you can share with your advertisers.  It has revolutionized what we do. 

Weisler:  So this is a planning tool.  Can you use it to buy and sell and do you guarantee?

Kline:  Usually in local business we don't guarantee.  But we are using our data so if there are more uses for this platform, in the future we will be ready.

Weisler:  Are there plans, through your work with the VAB, to nationalize this platform using data from several MVPDs?

Kline:  Not at this time.  However, we can use that same platform to help national networks in their own time do better targeting.

Weisler:  What data do you use?

Kline:  We use our proprietary anonymized and aggregated viewership data from our set top boxes.  We have millions of boxes.  We append our dataset with third-party attributes such as demographic, automotive, political and lifestyle data.  We also capture ad exposure data from all of our media platforms.

Weisler:  So, are you talking about impressions?  And does this have an attribution component?  If so, what?

Kline:  Yes, impressions.  It doesn't have an actual attribution component built into the app itself, but we can do that manually for clients on the backend.  If they are willing to show us their results, like how many cars were sold or how many service calls they got from the campaigns built from AudienceApp, then we can build a ROI model.

Weisler:  Does this have the capability of being cross platform?

Kline:  Yes, it does.  Moreover, we have a product called AudienceTrak that provides clients with a dashboard where clients track results in one place from all aspects of their campaign, including linear television, non-linear viewing in such places as the Spectrum TV app, and online display and video.

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ARF Acquires CIMM and Creates a Measurement Powerhouse

The ARF on Tuesday announced that it had acquired CIMM.  For researchers and data analysts, this is huge. 

According to the press release, CIMM will become a subsidiary of the ARF and will focus on the advancement of media measurement.  The new division, which retains the CIMM name and logo, will be headed by current CIMM CEO and Managing Director Jane Clarke.  ARF President and CEO Scott McDonald spoke with MediaVillage about the acquisition and what lies ahead.
Charlene Weisler:  What was the reasoning behind acquiring CIMM?

Scott McDonald:  We think that the industry benefits from more consolidated focus on sorting out the challenges of cross-platform/cross-device measurement, better assessment of marketing and advertising ROI and attribution, and better ways of leveraging data for business insight and impact.

Weisler:  What does the ARF hope to accomplish by acquiring CIMM?  What can be done through CIMM that could not be done strictly through the ARF?

McDonald:  The ARF has always focused on addressing big-picture questions, using the discipline and objectivity of science to improve the practice of marketing and advertising.  CIMM has focused more on the development of practical tools and innovations.  By joining forces, the ARF gains its own innovation incubator -- akin in some ways to the way that the IAB Tech Lab enhanced the capabilities of the IAB.  Through closer coordination of efforts, we think we can accelerate progress on the big measurement challenges beyond what each organization might have done on its own.

Weisler:  Is there any overlap and if so how will it be handled?

McDonald:  The ARF is much broader in that it has many marketer companies -- ad tech companies, data companies and research companies -- none of whom were part of CIMM under its previous structure.  By coming into the ARF, CIMM becomes open to all of these broader constituencies.

Weisler:  What are the first initiatives for this acquisition?  What do you hope to accomplish in the first year?

McDonald:  CIMM will operate as a member-driven organization, so the first-year R&D priorities will be set by the Steering Committee -- which, as I said already, may be a bit broader now that CIMM membership is open to more companies.  Personally, I would hope to see significant expansion in the CIMM membership base during the first year.

Weisler:  What has the feedback been from the industry?

McDonald:  Feedback has been very enthusiastic.  I think there is a hunger out there for more consolidation and coordination, for more focused effort to solve methodological problems and to build industry-wide consensus.  This is a step in that direction.

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The Value of Conversion Guarantees. A+E’s Peter Olsen Reports Incremental Income Based on Their Attribution Model.

The recent A+E Networks announcement about the significant incremental revenue increase it garnered with its outcome based conversion guarantees to advertisers has sparked greater interest in the value of attribution-based sales for the 2018 upfront.  

“A+E Networks has taken a clear leadership position in embracing attribution reporting and truly highlighting the power of TV to drive results for marketers," said John Hoctor, CEO of Data Plus Math whose company is working closely with A+E to track and measure the results. 

Peter Olsen, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales, A+E Networks stated, “We truly believe in outcomes as a game changer for the industry.  Everything we have done for decades has been creating proxies for what really matters – did my marketing campaign drive business outcomes.  Thus, we are taking the long view on this and didn’t expect massive changes in year one.  We are very pleased with the dialogue we are having with clients and agencies on this front.”

Olsen spoke at length about what this type of guarantee has done to service clients and spur their ad sales: 

Weisler: What was the reaction from the clients?

Olsen: They are just happy that we are listening and taking action on what really matter most to them and that’s providing true ROI on their media investments.

Weisler: What are the next steps to expand this?

Olsen: We’ve seen terrific momentum around our Audience-Based Solutions (Precision/Performance) since we announced outcome-based guarantees last spring. We’ll continue to partner with dynamic measurement companies like Data+Math and we are expanding the A+E Network’s team, which is now headed by Ethan Heftman, Vice President of Audience-Based Solutions, so we can keep up with marketplace demands. It’s an exciting time for us and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring to market this offering that we believe will drive our partners’ businesses forward.  There are a few additional announcements that will be coming out around the ANA on what comes next.

Weisler: Which industries were included in this study?

Olsen: We can’t get too specific due to client confidentiality, but these deals represent marketers within the auto and QSR categories among others.

Weisler: Were the results guaranteed and if so, what was the basis of the guarantee?

Olsen: The overall deals are a blend of traditional metrics (age/sex); strategic target guarantees and a portion of each deal is guaranteed on a business outcome.  We need to create benchmarks and then guarantee a lift off of that benchmark – which all takes some time.

Weisler: Were there differences by category or any surprises?

Olsen: Absolutely there are differences! And there should be. The business metrics for an auto advertiser are vastly different than those of a QSR. The biggest surprise we saw was that, regardless of the category, there’s an eagerness and openness among our partners to take a step in this direction. In each instance it’s been a collaborative effort from the start. As our partners on board more data sets, we believe ultimately this offering will be available for virtually all categories.

This article first appeared in www.MediaVillag


Attribution Accelerator - What to Expect?

The annual Attribution Accelerator conference is gearing up for record attendance next week. What can we expect? What have been the advancements over the past twelve months? Sequent Partners who are the event organizers created the Attribution Accelerator three years ago because they realized that the industry lacked a forum that focused solely on attribution. Attribution has become a much bigger issue for cross-platform measurement. There is still a lack of transparency and, as of yet, no industry standard approach. 

“Our event helps the industry get smarter about attribution, by shedding light and providing guidance, as well as encouraging best practices and development in the necessary areas,” stated Jim Spaeth, Partner, Sequent Partners.

This year, the conference will discuss how attribution is impacting activation and helping marketers manage ROI rather than measure it.  Panels will address how brands are represented in attribution, technical innovations (such as AI), creating a unified model with marketing mix models and how attribution is impacting television optimization. 

Panels to Watch
The ARF is heading a panel called, “Innovation - What’s Next and Will We Love It?,” which will explore what they have learned on the innovation frontier and how the latest developments can drive greater business performance, with a look into the future. According to Scott McDonald, President and CEO, The ARF, “Some of the topics we will discuss include: how AI can be used effectively to solve attribution problems, how precision targeting and unified modeling can improve, and the move from the lab to broad implementation in the real world. We will also examine whether to build or buy when it comes to innovation and how to build an appetite for risky innovation in a risk-averse corporate culture.”

Leslie Wood, Chief Research Officer, Nielsen Catalina Solutions, explained that her panel will cover a recent Nielsen study titled, How to Build Brands which “is our most ambitious research project to date, generating 6 billion rows of data for 50 CPG brands. One of the key learnings is that there is often a  disconnect between the intent of the creative message and the resulting purchase behavior of the audience. Advertising to consumers who don’t respond, wastes your media dollars. Advertising to the right consumers drives sales and growth.”

The importance of attribution cannot be underestimated. David Ernst, Vice President, Advanced Television and Digital Analytics, A+E, noted, “Most advertisers know that TV is a powerful, brand-building medium.  But now, through the use of large data sets and advanced analytics, we can demonstrate its true effectiveness by having a more precise understanding of how and where it works best.”  In his session, he discusses how attribution has the potential to change the dynamics of the television marketplace and why more clients are looking to attribution to get specifics about their goals, what they’re trying to accomplish, and make sure that campaigns deliver on their promise. He will also share his perspective on where attribution is headed going into the future and how they will approach the marketplace in exciting new ways.

“Attribution is continuing to gain traction in the marketing community, with new applications available to demonstrate the productivity of Television. It’s use is evolving from providing insights to delivering very specific analyses regarding the effectiveness of Networks, Dayparts and even programs. This is enabling us to have conversations with clients about productivity and expectations for individual campaigns on our networks,” he concluded.

 “Media companies like CBS are ready, willing and able to partner with their clients on measuring outcomes,” says Radha Subramanyam, Chief Research and Analytics Officer, CBS.  “At the same time, we are in a time of transition when it comes to attribution.  While there are lots of options today, TV attribution still remains an emerging and evolving field with no clear leader to date.  The good news is that early efforts by multiple companies all prove the same thing.  TV advertising works incredibly well.”

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Tunity OOH Data Reports College Students Glued to the Supreme Court Hearings. Will It Impact the Elections?

The recent Supreme Court hearings for Brett Kavanaugh not only sparked greater in-home viewing for news, the event also caused a surge in out-of-home viewing. Paul Lindstrom, Head of Research and Analytics, Tunity, shared his company’s data with me and we discussed the insights drawn from it.

When it comes to OOH, it is location, location, location… and sports. Lindstrom explained, “It is clear to me that there are dynamics in terms of traffic to locations and there are dynamics in terms of curation. These two factors combine to create the potential for a dynamic profile in terms of users at any given point in time.” He believes that the Kavanaugh hearing is a great illustration of OOH having the ability to draw all types of viewers in who might not normally view news on TV or not necessarily be watching news OOH.  Notably, he referred to the ten-fold upswing of viewing in colleges and airports and that the viewing to CNN skewed much younger.

Charlene Weisler: Overall, how did the full Kavanaugh hearings do OOH? What were the overall takeaways?

Paul Lindstrom: Overall the Thursday session of the Kavanaugh Hearing averaged 4,035,400 OOH viewers according to Tunity Analytics for the full 10 AM to 7 PM duration. The highest overall usage occurred during the first portion of Kavanaugh’s testimony.  The OOH usage, according to Tunity Analytics, returned to nearly the same level following a drop during his break.

Weisler: Overall how did the hearings rank among all Tunity OOH programs ever? 

Lindstrom: The overall OOH average viewing levels for the Thursday full session were comparable to what we have seen for the Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs. This is pretty remarkable given the weekday daytime time period for the hearing versus prime time for the NBA Playoffs.

Weisler: Is this the highest news event?

Lindstrom: This is the highest audience level for a news event since January of this year when I began to track this data.

Weisler: How did the hearings do comparatively in the time period?

Lindstrom: In total OOH usage was up almost 2.5 times indexing at 247 over the same hours from the previous week. CNN and Fox News received the bulk of the OOH increase indexing 755 week over week for CNN versus 431 for Fox News. CNN has historically gotten larger bumps in OOH usage for major news events than Fox News despite Fox News generally having larger OOH audiences on a day to day basis. It appears as if it is a curation issue. CNN is more likely to be tuned in at locations that are generally not carrying news during that daypart. Both Fox News and CNN brought in substantially younger audiences OOH they normally do. These young audiences found places to tune in.

Weisler: What OOH venues did the best?

Lindstrom: I think that this is a question that can be answered in two ways. First, the location with the largest degree of OOH viewing of the hearing on CNN was Offices. This was followed by Bars/Restaurants and interestingly Airports and Gyms. The three locations which showed the largest indices for week over week changes in overall OOH usage were Government Buildings, Colleges, and Airports.

Regardless of political persuasion we should all be encouraged to see the large increases for Colleges where viewing was up more than ten-fold. Airports had a week over week index of 825 compared to 247 for all locations and Government Buildings, not surprisingly were up twenty-fold.  Let me illustrate this using CNN as an example, although Fox News would show similar patterns. We see that the share of all OOH usage in this daypart was in single digits for most locations (Offices and Government buildings being exceptions) during the 10AM to 7PM time period for September 20th – the week prior to the hearing. CNN’s share of total OOH usage rose to 26 to 53% across all locations.

Weisler: And what tuning during the voting process and aftermath such as the announcement by Susan Collins?

Lindstrom: On Friday 10/5 Susan Collins announcement was seen by 2,232,300 OOH viewers on CNN and Fox News combined. This represented an increase of over 1.5 million OOH viewers compared to the hour prior. The audience returned to the normal viewing for the hour following the announcement. CNN accounted for 1,342,000 of the additional audience.

The results of the final vote drew in OOH viewers but not to the same extent as Friday. CNN and Fox News combined for 1,113,000 viewers at the peak of 4 o’clock. This represented an increase of 478,930 over the prior hour for the combination of networks. Interestingly on Saturday the increase in viewership was split nearly evenly between Fox News and CNN. The difference between Friday and Saturday in regards to increase in OOH viewing was almost entirely a result of CNN not getting the same magnitude of boost they did before. This is likely a curation issue. CNN has historically gotten the greatest lift for breaking news as a result of locations that do not normally carry news tune to CNN.  It is reasonable to assume that on the weekend many locations that do not normally have news on but tune in to CNN for breaking news did not because of the heavier degree sports programming.

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