comScore lays out cross-platform advertising best practices
Michelle Clancy
| 10 June 2014
While increased availability of digital video viewing has driven sizeable gains in incremental media consumption a net positive for marketers and media companies the potential to cannibalise existing media channels and disrupt the status quo can also be disconcerting. However, a new report from comScore has found that broadcast and cable networks are actually experiencing net revenue gains as these changes unfold.

"Digital video frequently offers an attractive financial return for content owners who make their content available via broadband for on-demand viewing, which they are monetising through advertising or licensing agreements with distributors such as Netflix," the company said in a recent report. "The good news for content owners is that rampant digital media proliferation is a value-creating event for their businesses."

But that doesn't mean there isn't considerable value currently being left on the table, as today's complex and fragmented viewing environment has made accounting for viewing behaviour orders of magnitude more difficult. In future brands need to find a truly integrated approach to the issue, putting the viewer at the centre and providing a unified accounting of their media consumption behaviour across all screens, to facilitate smarter buying and selling of advertising.

To facilitate that, comScore has unveiled the Total Video viewer-centric approach to measuring video that accounts for viewing audiences on multiple platforms.

It leverages the panel-based approach of legacy TV measurement systems but in combination with advanced digital measurement methods including the combination of large scale panel-based systems with census-level data from millions of TV set-top boxes, Web and app tagging, etc to deliver a comprehensive and unified accounting of video viewing audiences.

The first aspect is a unified metric, to demonstrate the full size of a media company's audience and plan across media platforms, including the ability to deliver unified metrics for reach, frequency and GRPs. Similarly, media planners plan against demographics and need to be able to do this for all video viewing across platforms. Related to that, measurement must be inclusive of all video that is consumed including OTT viewing whenever and wherever it is consumed, since this represents monetisable inventory.

Also, the approach must be scalable to an increasing number of platforms and have the granularity to report meaningful audiences for content from larger media companies and for niche audiences covering long-tail content providers. This scalability must be predicated on census-level data assets incorporated into the methodology, because panels alone cannot reach the level of required reporting granularity, comScore explained.

And finally, dynamic ad insertion will become a norm as this market begins to look more like today's highly targetable digital advertising environment. The future of ad measurement is also evolving rapidly to tie video exposure more directly to in-store sales performance, according to the firm.

Taken together, the Total Video approach means more opportunities for media companies to deliver and monetise content and improved ability for advertisers to efficiently and effectively reach their target audiences. But, reaping these gains will depend on taking concrete steps.

"That means adopting a viewer-centric approach that aligns with the way advertisers want to buy and content owners want to sell advertising," comScore said in the report. "As this happens, all video content can be accounted for and used as a basis of transaction according to quality of the inventory and the unduplicated audience reached not merely on the basis of the individual device on which it is consumed."