Identity Tools Will Be Essential To Transforming TV Ad Measurement

We’re in a new era of television. Consumers have embraced streaming and other forms of advanced TV (ATV), putting streaming on a path to becoming the main way of watching TV in the next two to three years. Brands have stamped their approval by shifting ad dollars to more advanced forms of TV as well.

According to the IAB’s 2021 Video Ad Spend & 2022 Outlook report, connected TV ad spending is projected to increase by 39% in 2022, surpassing $21 billion.

The growth of streaming has pushed TV into the realm of digital media, enabling data-driven, audience-based advertising and near-real-time impression-level decisioning. This new era of TV advertising requires a new era of measurement that delivers the granularity and speed advertisers need to maximize campaign performance.

Data-driven ATV campaigns need the right identity solution

ATV includes household-addressable forms of TV (both streaming and linear addressable), as well as data-driven linear, which enables program-based buys using audience characteristics other than age and gender. Streaming accounts for the majority of ATV ad revenues.

One of the distinguishing features of ATV is that inventory is split across delivery modes, publishers, device manufacturers and programmatic platforms. Each has its own identifiers, audience definitions and technical requirements. That fragmentation makes it challenging for advertisers to scale targeted ad campaigns.

Identity can solve this challenge. By providing a people-based view that cuts across publishers, platforms and devices, large-scale interoperable identity data sets enable consistent audience targeting and coordinated campaign management.

The best identity solutions for ATV campaigns have three features:

  • Accuracy – correctly associating people to devices. Identity solutions based on household signals naturally associate large-screen TVs (which account for nearly 90% of ATV viewing) to the correct home.
  • Scale combining robust coverage of streaming homes and devices with offline signals, allowing advertisers to manage campaigns with a common consumer-based view across streaming and advanced forms of linear TV.
  • Connectivity – available where ATV audiences are built, transacted and activated. Accuracy and scale are the DNA of effective ATV identity solutions, while connectivity brings identity solutions to life.

Enhanced measurement for an enhanced medium

The ability to do 1:1 audience targeting and impression-level decisioning has blown up TV ad measurement. Legacy panel-based approaches lack the scale to support the precision targeting capabilities of advanced TV.

Since ATV advertising supports household-level targeting, actionable ATV ad measurement ought to provide near-complete coverage of households reached by ATV campaigns. In addition, ATV measurement must gather campaign impressions across myriad device types and activation points and reconcile these disparate data streams to households.

This is the same challenge facing ATV targeting, so it’s no surprise that getting ATV measurement right is very much about getting ATV identity right.

ATV measurement is especially dependent on high-fidelity mapping of ATV devices to households. Targeting based on wobbly device-to-household associations is inefficient. Measurement based on a wobbly graph is deadly.

Associating devices to the wrong households will distort reach/frequency calculations and ripple through downstream analytics, including incremental reach and attribution.

Targeting, measurement and planning data sets are converging

When building a house, the same structural blueprints are used to guide installation of the plumbing, heating and electrical systems. The same principle applies to ATV advertising, with identity providing a people-based structure that connects targeting, measurement, optimization and planning in a seamless way to improve advertising performance.

When ATV ad campaigns use the same robust identity backbone from end to end, measurement actionability takes a quantum leap. Measurement can now directly drive campaign improvements at a granular level, allowing advertisers to optimize delivery based on audience characteristics, exposure frequency, conversion behaviors and more.

Audience and campaign insights from identity-based measurement data inform ATV media planning, creating unprecedented alignment between planning and execution.

TV measurement is becoming a team sport

As measurement requirements evolve in parallel with TV’s shift to an audience-based “digital” ad medium, how TV measurement is conducted is clearly changing. That, in turn, is reshaping the structure of the measurement market.

Legacy measurement providers’ competencies in analysis, reporting and panel maintenance do not necessarily translate to big data management and “identity.” All are needed to deliver valid, actionable ATV measurement.

Identity companies are playing an increasingly important role in TV measurement by facilitating the secure rapid movement and integration of large data sets, and resolving device-based information to people. Resolved data files are passed back to measurement companies for analysis and reporting.

Trusted partnerships between frontline measurement providers and companies with expertise in identity and data collaboration are transforming TV measurement for the better.

H/T Adexchanger

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