What the World Cup and Black Friday Say About the Future of Ads
by Stephen Graveman
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Publishers, advertisers and measurement firms are all trying to figure out their place in a Connected TV world.
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Nielsen just recently announced a rebrand amid a series of measurement challenges that have continued to chip away at its reputation – starting with undercounting TV viewership by as much as 6% at the beginning of the year. If you’ve been following our coverage, you’ll soon see why their ship has continued to sink. While they continue to play catch up, they’re at risk of being left behind.
The advertising industry is nonetheless forging ahead and charting through uncharted waters. Case in point, NBCUniversal is attempting to standardize streaming advertising industry measurement, along with three dozen brands, agencies and trade industry bodies. “Each partner will have a seat at the table to investigate, share and receive feedback at scale on new measurement yardsticks to help build new measurement blueprint for advertising’s future,” Kelly Abcarian, NBCUniversal’s EVP, Measurement and Impact, Advertising and Partnership explained.
Nielsen’s new branding is one of many signs that the TV industry, from the measurement firms to the advertisers, are looking for a new way forward – but this time, no party can afford to take shortcuts. Simply relying on gut-instinct might have worked in the past for many, but it’s simply not the way it goes anymore, as hard KPIs and metrics take precedence. Take CTV marketing platforms like MNTN as an example, whose Performance TV was built on the premise of performance and have set a new data-driven standard for others in the industry to follow. The platform’s tools like Cross-Device Verified Visits proprietary model, which maps the user journey across devices up until the point of conversion, through to a robust reporting dashboard enable advertisers to access data in real-time.
Thought advertisers and measurement companies were the only ones rewriting their old playbooks? The same applies as much to publishers, as they try to find a better way to present their content and capitalize on the increased viewership on Connected TV (nearly half of global users have increased their streaming TV consumption since the pandemic started – putting it almost level with the 47% spike for news and digital content).
Take Disney+ for example, who’ve attempted to shift their viewer’s habits through shifting its weekly series premiers from Fridays to Wednesdays. “Is there an opportunity to think about another day other than the weekend that is about entertainment? Everything doesn’t have to be dropped on the weekends, and we will continue that moving forward and I think that appointment-based viewing, combined with the always on, always available” said Andrea Cutright, Vice President of Product and Subscriber Marketing at Disney Streaming.
The company has also fine tuned its content calendar and dialed into celebrating cultural moments, such as the early release of Frozen 2 and Hamilton to the platform at the height of the pandemic last year. No matter the case, advertisers can rest easy as Connected TV advertising platforms were built to adapt to the frequent changes in the industry. So, no matter how often publishers plan to switch up their programming shifts or introduce new content formats, there is always a way to reach audiences no matter the time of day (you can thank CTV advertising’s audience-first philosophy for that).
Since there is no playbook to follow, parties on all sides are experimenting and trying to work out the best formula in this streaming-first world. What is the industry standard of measurement, and what will publishers do next? While we can’t answer all of these questions now, one thing is certain – we are excited to be on this journey and can’t wait to see what is next in store.
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