Today’s media landscape is evolving quickly. If the commercial messages of ad agencies and brands are to be effective, keeping pace with these changes is essential.
Nowhere are the changes more apparent than in how the public consumes media. Linear TV is now simply one of many platforms along with VOD, OTT, desktop and mobile screens. The challenge for agencies and their clients is capturing a complete picture of how many consumers are actually watching so they can maximize ROI on their advertising dollars.
What’s become obvious is that a single-source, cross-platform ad measurement solution is necessary. Rachel Gantz, GM of Activation Solutions at Comscore, says the company’s new Comscore Everywhere is such a solution.
In this Q&A with NextTV, Rachel discusses the unified measurement tool, the need to preserve the privacy of the public and the data assets of publishers—even while measuring cross-platform viewing, best practices that should guide measurement of campaign effectiveness, how fragmenting audiences are affecting achieving a clearer understanding about who is watching, audience overlaps across platforms and the need for reliable deduplicating.
Q: Where do you see the biggest opportunity in 2022 for advertising measurement?
A: As consumers dictate where, how, and when they consume media, it’s imperative that advertisers keep up with how their messages can effectively reach desired audiences across platforms. The reality of today’s complex media landscape is that modern measurement must be able to move in lockstep with consumers – everywhere they connect with content. The media industry needs campaign measurement to understand consumer behavior across millions of TV, VOD, OTT, desktop, and mobile screens. Advertisers require the ability to capture every eyeball so that they can optimize their media investments responsibly and accurately.
This is why Comscore was excited to announce its single-source, cross-platform measurement currency “Comscore Everywhere,” which will address the biggest needs of the media industry. Comscore Everywhere builds on the success of “Comscore Campaign Ratings (CCR),” the first in-market advertising measurement solution to provide a complete view of video investment across linear, CTV, and digital to agencies and brands.
With Comscore Campaign Ratings (CCR), Comscore is able to address the need for a true cross-platform advertising measurement solution and, starting in October 2021, take it to the next level by providing unified measurement of YouTube and YouTube TV across all devices, including connected TV with co-viewing. YouTube was once largely consumed on single-person devices like computers and cell phones – those days are over as streaming on CTV takes a market leading position. Advertisers and agencies for years have told us of the need to accurately understand the incrementality of YouTube’s impact within media plans. We are thrilled to deliver on that demand, which represents our belief that CTV is here to stay and is the biggest opportunity for advertising measurement in 2022.
Q: How has privacy shaped the work you are doing in the advertising space?
A: As the need for true cross-platform measurement grows, so does the demand for pro-privacy, consumer-friendly advertising solutions. As an industry we must recognize consumers’ legitimate right to privacy and find ways to privacy-proof our innovations while enabling advertisers to reach their desired audiences. These solutions require both methodological and technological innovations to keep up with the “new normal”.
On the methodology front, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is currently leading a proof of concept in partnership with Comscore and publishers and advertisers in the U.S. to innovate a new ad measurement methodology that protects both the privacy of consumers and the value of these data assets for publishers. This is our stake in the ground to support a truly privacy-preserving web while developing products and solutions that unify linear TV, connected TV, and digital ad exposures – pioneering the way forward for accurate cross-platform convergence.
On the technology front, Comscore’s innovations are grounded in a best-in-class tech stack and big data management. We do so with a privacy-centric approach in building products, delivering insights and forging partnerships. For example, we expanded CCR with Google to include YouTube and YouTube TV through a tagless integration via Google’s Ad Data Hub so that our clients and partners could make more informed privacy-safe decisions for their ad campaigns on the entire YouTube universe across screens or platforms.
Q: What are some of the best practices that you advise advertisers to think about when measuring the impact of their ad campaigns?
A: One must pay attention to three key aspects of advertising measurement to better navigate the cross-platform nature of media consumption today:
- Advertisements are made for people; we all know that. In order to optimize cross-platform media plans and audience delivery across media and screens, advertisers must demand person-level reporting in their measurement solutions.
- Humans in groups behave differently than humans alone. In order to assess the true incrementality of every component of a media plan and campaign success, advertisers must get a complete picture of deduplicated audiences accounting for co-viewing.
- Measurement must keep pace with the speed at which audiences consume content everywhere. We cannot emphasize enough advertisers’ need for actionable, in-flight campaign reporting and insights to efficiently optimize and achieve greater campaign efficiencies.
Q: As the fragmentation of video consumption accelerates, how is Comscore enabling advertisers to understand the overlaps between TV, CTV, and digital? Why is this critical?
A: Advertisers understand the nature of modern consumers’ needs to be "always on” and are striving to serve the right message to the right folks in the right place. Consumers may be watching the same content on multiple screens or different content on different screens simultaneously, increasing the touchpoints to influence their purchase decisions. The historic silos between TV, CTV, and digital no longer exist, at least in a consumer’s mind. Hence, you need a single source of truth to get a full picture of these varied media consumption behaviors.
Comscore Everywhere combines more than 10 years of cross-platform expertise powered by a massive data footprint across linear TV, connected TV, digital, and social to provide a common, comparable “Audience Definition” across media and screens. This approach enables best-in-class overlap methodologies in our products to make sure clients get the most accurate read on the performance of their campaigns and allow them to make more informed decisions about where and how to allocate media spend.
It would be remiss of me if I didn’t highlight the rising influence and share of social video consumption as part of this accelerating trend. With our recent acquisition of Shareablee, we aim to integrate advanced social video insights into Comscore Everywhere, facilitating a seamless blend of all media platforms, with proper deduplication and contextualization to inform the media transaction marketplace.
Q: What sets Comscore apart as an advertising measurement currency in an environment of multiple measurement sources?
A:Comscore has an unwavering focus on creating leading solutions for this new era of media measurement. To succeed in today’s blended media ecosystem, deep experience in both TV and digital measurement – as well as content and advertising measurement – is required to build products equipped to withstand the challenges of measuring modern media and deliver on the future of unified cross-platform content and advertising measurement. Furthermore, our unique ability to align audiences between advertising measurement and programmatic targeting simplifies the complex audience ecosystem for advertisers and provides reliable tools to guarantee campaign success.
As advertiser demand grows for comprehensive ad exposure data across screens at scale, Comscore is well prepared to provide a complete view of ad supported content. YouTube’s addition in Comscore Campaign Ratings (CCR) is a game changer for brands and agencies to truly assess the incremental impact of YouTube within media plans, when more than 80% of CTV reach in the U.S. falls on only five streaming services — and only two are ad-supported.