Connected TV

Is the Price (of Content) Always Right?

While the matter of content quality is mostly subjective, both media-buyers and publishers are debating if there’s a way to standardize and put a value on content.

Is the Price (of Content) Always Right?

3 Min Read

We all know that content is king, but how can the industry measure the value of content—in the same way that advertisers measure their ad campaigns? And do we anticipate it being standardized one day? The current push-and-pull between media buyers, publishers and industry bodies have been making news, with a focus on specific challenges around measurement in television—this time, the value of content takes center stage around these two issues: 

1. Should the quality of content be considered when calculating the value and performance of an ad? 

2. Should content quality be quantified on a level of a measurement standard?

Some in the industry believe the answer to both is a resounding ‘yes,’ but then this brings up more questions than answers. “What hasn’t been figured out is defined video value,” said one anonymous TV network executive. “There are factors beyond duration of view that need to be considered. Type of device. Is a mobile view equal to a TV view? Autoplay views vs. intentional views? People who see content and watch 10 minutes of it — I still think that’s equal value [to content airing on TV].”

If content measurements indeeds ends up being standardized across the full spectrum of media channels, then it brings up another concern for publishers, since all content is not built equally. For example, a media giant like NBC Universal would argue that an ad sold against premium programming spots (like the Super Bowl and Olympics) should be priced higher than “some edited, phone-filmed video posted to a platform like YouTube or TikTok.”

How to Apply a Performance Mindset to Content

We were deliberating over this industry-wide issue, and while we agree that content quality is a key contributor to ad performance, the whole premise of standardizing content quality measurement is mostly a moot point. Unfortunately, many advertisers who are trying to view content quantitatively have missed the point, and are at risk of doing a disservice to their brands. Why should advertisers need to do the extra legwork of comparing different content types when content agnostic solutions like MNTN Performance TV already does the hard work for them? 

There’s no need to compare decimal points (or dollar values, for that matter) between different content when taking an audience-first, rather than a content-first approach. Our research reveals that the former works best for brands—paired alongside premium inventory used as a brand safety measure. As long as you’re setting up your television advertising campaigns in this way, then the content an audience is watching doesn’t really matter. What matters most is that you’re reaching your intended audience and that they are taking action after watching your content—which can be measured through effective cross-device measurement.