The media measurement market is fragmenting as is media consumption


[A VIEW FROM ABROAD] There was a time when the media measurement market was fairly straightforward. You had numbers of Audit Bureau of Circulation for newspaper ad buys, BPA for magazines, Arbitron for radio, and Nielsen for television.

Four channels. Four measurement providers. Almost all media consumption and advertising is covered. What a simple world.

No more. Digital disruption, the rise of performance advertising – and, most importantly, massive and accelerating audience fragmentation across a growing number of media channels, vendors and devices – are to blame.

Media metering has been in the news a lot lately – much of it focused on the grandfather channel, television.

The television networks and their commercial group, the Video Advertising Bureau, publicly complain about Nielsen for its recent, fairly public measurement failures.

Nielsen responded by trying to suspend its Media Rating Council accreditation and focus its energies on creating a more holistic measurement platform for the future, Nielsen One. And no one involved seems happy or likely to be satisfied anytime soon.

Many people have asked me for my opinion on what all of this could mean for the future of the media measurement market. So here they are:

Nielsen’s TV measurement won’t go away

There is no doubt that Nielsen has some real challenges with its TV panel, but there is no easy way to replace it as the currency for the majority of domestic TV advertising spending in the United States. As research legend Jack Wakshlag taught me years ago, being an accepted media currency is more than just having hard numbers. It’s also about comparability, stability and trust, and it typically takes decades to build these capabilities in a market with hundreds of sellers, thousands of buyers, and over 10,000 billion ad impressions.

For better or for worse, the C3, C7, raw valuation point and age-of-sex demographics are set in stone in contracts spanning tens of billions in spending for those trillions. impressions. Nielsen is currently the only company to have a panel, however insufficient, that covers all types of television viewing – broadcast, cable, satellite and streaming – and is balanced across all demographics, especially minorities and people living in households without fixed broadband (more than 20% of American households).

Many emerging measurement companies are going to take a lot of new business

There are many digital born players with media measurement products in line with the destination of media consumption and ad spend. has been a leader in TV and video advertising campaigns and results measurement for years, with massive reach in American homes. TVSquared is a leader in conversion tracking. Samba TV and VideoAmp bring even more real-time TV measurements to the market.

Truthset improves the game when it comes to data validation and accuracy. TVision Insights tells us a lot about who actually watches TV and how engaged they are. 605 measures the impact of TV advertising campaigns with return path data. LiveRamp’s Data + Math powers and measures targeting and campaign-level results on TV. And there are many, many more.

Report. report. The future of media measurement will not be like the past, with a few simple numbers coming from a few monopoly providers of monetary data. Nope. The market will be much larger, with a massive and growing demand for tactical measurement platforms that can operate in real time and help marketers, agencies and media owners better utilize and measure their many channels. media and nuances of each, taking advantage of the types of targeting. , optimization and real-time measurement and reporting which are table stakes in all the major digital walled garden platforms.

So – Nielsen isn’t going away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of new market opportunities for a lot of new media measurement providers.

Of course, not only will the media measurement market grow, but it will fragment, as will all media channels and the audiences that watch them today.

This story was first published by and is republished with permission of the author.

Dave Morgan, a lawyer by training, is the CEO and founder of Simulmedia. Previously, he founded and managed both TACODA, Inc, an online advertising company pioneering online behavioral marketing and which was acquired by AOL in 2007 for $ 275 million, and Real Media, Inc, a the world’s leading online ad serving and ad serving companies and a predecessor of 24/7 Real Media (TFSM), which was later sold to WPP for $ 649 million. Follow him on twitter @davemorgannyc

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