Cross-Industry Cooperation is Required to Accelerate Addressable TV says AudienceProject’s Bentley

As addressable TV advertising grows in scale, there are still many unanswered questions around how measurement could or should work. In this Q&A Martyn Bentley, UK commercial director at AudienceProject which released an addressable TV measurement solution earlier this year, explains the key challenges currently being tackled for addressable TV measurement.

GroupM’s recent ‘State of Video’ report said that “worldwide, TV measurement is improving, but not fast enough”. Do you agree with this assessment, and if so, why do you think progress is slow?

I agree. Aside from the fragmented tech-scape, the real issue I would highlight is that many stakeholders on all sides of the transaction are trying to assess risk and protect their interests, making industry consensus a long game locally, let alone at a global level. The tipping point will come when the money moves in even higher volumes to non-traditional viewing platforms, thus making a measurement currency essential – as the trend to consume TV content (and ads) non-traditionally is only going to continue.

Where are we at in terms of measuring addressable TV? What are the key challenges at the moment?

Addressable TV is in its infancy in terms of measurement, compared to its popularity with actual viewers (NB in this case we understand addressable TV to mean connected TV’s, OTT, Broadcaster VOD etc, as Sky Adsmart is measured by BARB). Challenges are related to: agreement in the industry on method and common currency; the lag in Dovetail’s delivery of a solution; perceived risk of measurement to larger broadcast platforms; understanding of what data is available for targeting; and even just definitions of what addressable TV actually is!

The way forward is for all players to see the benefits of measurement in terms of an opportunity to better value one’s inventory, and also give buyers more distinct, campaign specific, audiences.

Will addressable TV ever be truly measurable in the same way digital is, due to the fact alone that it’s so often a shared experience?

Shared devices aren’t the only hurdle and I wouldn’t say that addressable TV should be measured exactly the same as digital anyway – and, we should remember that digital also has had a shared device challenge since the introduction of the tablet. Value arguably also needs to be assigned to the quality of the content and context of the ad placements if they are in more of a high quality TV-style environment, compared to, say, long tail websites or social sites with UGC and potentially brand unsafe content.

AudienceProject’s new solution uses individual data rather than modelled data – can you explain the difference, and why it’s important?

Measurement of addressable TV, when based on modelled data, tends to utilise generic information about consumer usage of different media. In this case you lose the uniqueness of the specific campaign and don’t actually verify the true delivery towards your target group.

However, where the measurement is based on a deterministic, real time panel, buyers and publishers ensure that the individual campaign and target group is profiled. So a more deterministic approach allows us to create custom audiences for measurement – e.g. SUV Intenders – which is more in-line with the promise of addressable TV’s targeting capabilities.

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