Managing Local TV Market Traffic in the Ad Tech Age

Vehicle traffic on a crowded highway: how best to manage local TV trafficLocal traffic systems are often legacy systems, having processed local TV market buys for the industry for years. Now, in an age of greater data diversity and granularity, many of these systems are straining to keep up—but the future of local TV market traffic must bring change.

You Need Data and Reach

With big data sets now available to measure television, a low sample size should be a thing of the past—even at the local level. “Of the local agency clients (of Rentrak) with whom I have spoken, they have stressed the importance of stability in the ratings, availability across all networks, ‘no zeroes,’ and the ability to characterize the audience beyond age-gender,” says Caroline Horner, co-founder of advertising agency SpicyTequila. Horner also notes that advertisers buying across multiple markets want consistent metrics and tools.

This means local traffic systems should be able to import more granular data to better track contract inventory. There’s also a need to go beyond ratings and delivery as a measure of success in trafficking contracts. Reach is becoming even more of a must-have for advertisers—but few systems have updated or attempted to address either reach or target reach. “The growing importance of local reach and the need for updating the reach methodology is a common conversation,” says Horner.

Read the full article at the Videa blog.

Welcome Generation Z: Nielsen Takes a Closer Look at Post-Millennials

No sooner is the media industry starting to understand Millennials than we are faced with another, younger generation of consumers and viewers. Nielsen refers to this post-Millennial group as Generation Z and focused its latest Total Audience Report (1Q17) on this younger, up-and-coming cohort. 

Why Generation Z? They are a large percentage of the TV and Total US populations, very diverse and, through their use of technology, are expanding the media usage footprint. According to Nielsen, Generation Z (which Nielsen defines as anyone under 21) is currently 26% of all persons in Total US TV Homes – the largest generation of individuals today - and when combined with Millennials, form almost half of the total US population. They are also very diverse, accounting for 22% of all Hispanics compared to previous generations. As a Nielsen press release states, “While generations like the Baby Boomers and Millennials are well known and add their own unique value to the media landscape, the lesser studied Generation Z is quickly maturing into adulthood and will soon make their presence known.” Indeed.

I sat down with with Peter Katsingris, Nielsen’s Senior Vice President of Audience Insights, to discuss the impact of Gen Z’ers on media:

Charlene Weisler: What are the major takeaways of the recent Nielsen Total Audience report on Gen Z?

Peter Katsingris: I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that Gen Z is the largest and most multicultural generation out of all the ones we looked at. Living at home – which they tend to - comes with perks: they have access to plenty of options for viewing content. Almost 3 out of 4 Gen Z’ers have access to an SVOD service and nearly all have some sort of TV connected or digital device to view content. They are growing up in an on demand world and have more choices available to them than prior generations.

Charlene: What makes them different from Millennials?

Peter: With these younger generations, it’s all about life stages. Millennials exist as adults now – they’re finishing up college, entering the workforce, moving out on their own, or starting a family. They are trying to earn a living and figure out what they can - or can’t - afford. They are at different points in their lives than Gen Z who are mainly still at home. Gen Z tends to be less self-reliant and because they are home, I believe, they have access to more tech and services than Millennials. 

Charlene: Is Gen Z as large an influence to the culture as Boomers were to theirs?

Peter: It’s hard to say right now. I think Boomers lived through some different times and that makes it hard to compare. So many things have changed between generations, whether based on historical events or technological advancements. Only time will tell.

Charlene: What are the major attitudinal attributes of Gen Z?

Peter: They are definitely growing up in a more technologically advanced time than prior generations.  I happen to be the parent of Gen Z’er and I definitely see their need to constantly stare at screens both large and small. Wherever you go, you see this young generation being entertained by a device whether it be in a restaurant, shopping cart, at home - pretty much anywhere! They are exposed to so much more because of technology and are "growing up" quicker than prior generations.  

Charlene: How do you see Gen Z impacting media and content consumption?

Peter: Again, it goes back to life stages.  and that makes it tricky. The younger Gen Z’ers are either at home or school and as they become teens, they are out of the house more. During this transition, their habits tend to change as well. Once they hit college, consumption changes completely.  Because they are growing up in this on demand world, their media habits are different than prior generations. College kids tend to be the lightest viewers of television, but do use the TV set for their connected devices like game consoles and multimedia devices for streaming content almost as much as prior generations. Gen Z’ers will likely have similar digital use as millennials as they age, but the question still is if younger generations will look like the older ones, or will older ones change and adopt younger behaviors. It’s a lifelong study.

Charlene: How do you see Gen Z impacting ad consumption?

Peter: I think it all depends on what media they are consuming and which platform. Some platforms or services are more ad supported. For example, if we see they are only watching SVOD services, then they would be exposed to fewer ads. But they are watching or listening to media across all platforms. They are increasingly using game consoles and multimedia devices.  We can assume they are increasingly using digital devices like the younger millennials as well. Depending on how ads are served on those platforms would play a role with their impact. 

This article first appeared in


Focusing on TV Measurement. Interview with iQMedia's John Derham

John Derham found the pathway to data via his work the financial services industry. Now, as Founder,  Head of Innovation, iQ Media, Derham is focused on TV measurement. “When I saw marketers struggling with a lack of data around linear TV, I started iQ Media to improve the data and timeliness for organizations who needed to leverage TV signals to better understand their marketing,” he explained. “It is our everyday mission to make TV data more accurate, transparent and attainable for any brand,” he added. 

Charlene Weisler: From your perspective, has TV measurement changed and if so how?

John Derham: Television measurement is continually changing based on the availability and access to new and different types of data. Historically ad measurement was the main measurement point, but new technology, such as iQ Media capabilities, enables the measurement to reach into the contextualization of content. Product placements, mentions, in event views are a sampling of the new measurement objectives. 

Charlene Weisler: Tell me about iQ Media and where it sits in the TV measurement world. What does it offer that is not being offered by TV measurement services today?

John Derham: We bring context to viewing on television, helping our customers accurately identify when their brand is seen and heard on TV, and pinpointing earned vs paid mentions, allowing them to  evaluate and measure their major investments in real-time. And, we partner with other companies to quantify the impacts at both audience and key ROI hurdles. 

Charlene Weisler: Is your company developing new metrics for TV measurement? If so what are they?

John Derham: We are continually developing new tools and metrics for measurement. One of our newest and most exciting innovations is around the viewability of brand exposure on screen.
Charlene Weisler: How do you calculate the viewability of brand exposure on screen?
John Derham: Viewability deals with a number of factors such as size, location, and persistency (to name a few). The ultimate goal of measuring brand exposure on screen is ensuring that the brand is actually being seen and registered by the "human eye”. Put another way—it’s identifiable by a passive viewer who’s not specifically looking for it. Many times brands are visible, but not identifiable. When you have someone manually tracking brand appearances, they know exactly what they’re looking for, so they’ll always see it and count it—even if it wouldn’t be noticed or registered by someone who wasn’t looking for it. Reporting those instances just isn’t helpful to brands because they don’t bring them any value.

Charlene Weisler: How would you move the TV measurement market to the type of data metrics that your company supplies? Why is it better than what we have now?

John Derham:  I believe the market is mature and is comprehensively aware of audience behaviors. There is still a mix between earned and paid content exposures and the two should continue to converge and be measured together. Another area of improvement should come in the form of quicker turnaround times of data and resources.
Charlene Weisler: What are earned and paid content exposures for TV? Sounds like digital.
John Derham: Earned content is simply anything that is not paid. Mentions of brands or logos that show up in TV content aren’t always paid. Brands often get earned mentions or views on news and other dynamic content programs, for example. 

Charlene Weisler: Do you think TV measurement and digital measurement are comparable qualitatively? If not which is better and why?

John Derham: One of the challenges of digital media is measurement and tracking. Individual consumers are exposed wide ranging variants of exposures coming from multiple platforms. Advertisers are paying much more than they are getting value for and are returning to more traditional forms like television because of the tracking and certainty of the exposure. 

Charlene Weisler: There’s a lot of energy around local TV spending recently—is TV measurement as good as it can be here? If not, how can it improve?

John Derham: Local TV spend is a $25 billion dollar business. Technology now exists to help track local DNA spending and the inventory associated with it is becoming more flexible and adaptable. iQ Media's platform helps broadcasters and marketers understand local market data and viewing trends for brands. Most television ad tracking and media tracking is being done only on a national or cable basis. We have the tools to access local market content in the same manner as national content. 

This article first appeared in


Ads Are Getting Better … Sort Of… According to Recent Kantar Media Research Study

Is advertising getting better for consumers? Are consumers’ receptivity to advertising improving as ads become more addressable? Kantar Media’s recent global DIMENSION study has revealed that while consumers say that the advertising environment has improved, there are still some challenges, particularly with online. The survey included responses from more than 5,000 “connected” adult consumers. 

Manish Bhatia, North America CEO, Kantar Media shared his views about the survey in this exclusive interview.

Charlene Weisler: What for you was the biggest takeaway from the Dimension survey?

Manish Bhatia: One of the biggest takeaways we found is that data is changing everything and not always for the better. While data helps advertising become more effective and efficient than ever, marketers who rely on the wrong data or use the right data in the wrong way risk turning consumers off and damaging perception of their brands.  

Charlene:  Your results indicate that 47% of those using ad blockers say they have issues with aspects of online advertising as opposed to ads themselves. What type of issues?

Manish: We believe excessive retargeting is contributing to these concerns: 71% of those we surveyed agree that they see the same ads over and over again and we saw many complaints about being bombarded by advertising. Respondents expressed annoyance at being shown ads for items that had recently been purchased. The industry leaders we interviewed also agreed that saturation has become a significant concern. 

Charlene: At what point does addressable advertising tip into invasion of privacy?

Manish: We found it’s really a balancing act for both advertisers and consumers. When targeted ads are relatively benign and beneficial to consumers they often don’t mind the fact that their data was shared – for example, if they are offered a coupon for a product they often buy. But ads can also start to seem too intrusive.

Charlene: Does it vary by platform?

Manish: Mobile definitely can raise greater concerns about privacy because those devices are so personal. Some consumers may also be concerned about geo-targeting ads that leverage their physical location. 

Charlene: How can feelings of invasions of privacy be avoided?

Manish: Paying attention to frequency and context can help. Seeing ads too often and seeing ads at inconvenient times or linked with the wrong kind of content can definitely be viewed as intrusive. 

Charlene:  When you talk about matching creative with context, can you give some good examples of what works and what might not work?

Manish: Don’t just match ads to content, but rather to consumer mindset and behavior. Someone who is reading a serious article about food safety is in a different place from someone who’s looking at recipes. And someone who’s browsing for quick info from a phone may be too busy to take in an ad, or might even view it as an annoyance.  

Charlene: How can this best be implemented?

Manish: You need a full understanding of all the media consumers are using – often, in this hybrid world, all at the same time. True cross-media measurement is key, otherwise you risk becoming siloed and serving too many of the same ads through different channels. 

Charlene: What are some of the lessons that programmers can take from your study?

Manish: Invest in quality data and tools that will give you a complete picture of the media landscape – and then make sure you use them wisely. Make sure to provide consumers with a compelling experience - you’ll find that they reward you for it. 

 Charlene: Is this a trend study -- do you have year to year comparisons?

Manish: DIMENSION will be a trend study but this is our first year. Check back with us next year and we’ll be happy to update you. We’re going to be tracking perceptions of advertising on an ongoing basis via our Ad Positive score so we’ll have a better answer for you next year. But overall, targeted advertising can be effective – if it’s done well. 64% of consumers we surveyed said they prefer to see advertising that is relevant to their interests.

This article first appeared in


Hurdles in Attribution.

Recently, CIMM, The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, released the findings of a study on attribution conducted by Sequent Partners. The main conclusion was that, as an industry, we have made some progress towards the development of an attribution model across media. However, there is more work to do and, at least in the near term, there are few viable systems currently available that holistically capture cross-platform consumer behaviors.

This is an industry imperative but the challenges are steep. To get a lay of the land, I sat down with Julian Zilberbrand, EVP, Audience Science, Viacom Media Networks, Ben Clarke, President, The Shipyard and Jane Clarke,  CEO, Managing Director, CIMM.

Charlene Weisler:  What, for you, were the most important takeaways from the CIMM Sequent Whitepaper on attribution?

Julian Zilberbrand: There is still much work to be done to truly do cross platform attribution, especially when taking into account non-digital touch points.  The methodology used, I believe, still leads back to a Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) versus Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA).   MMM has its value but is a different capability that has been in existence for a long time and is seen to have flaws as well. The need for attribution is real and necessary in our space but individual advertiser KPIs make a one-size-fits-all model impossible.

Jane Clarke: The most significant insight emerging from our whitepaper is that clearly while progress is being made, there is still much development work needed for a truly integrated marketing mix modeling and attribution approach to ROI analysis. We have outlined some important elements of the direction that development needs to take for a more holistic solution, but important work lies ahead.  The future of cross-channel attribution is being formed now, so it is in the best interest of media buyers and sellers alike to get involved in the process to ensure that the industry has options moving forward that truly serve our needs.

Charlene Weisler:  What do you see as the greatest challenges in attribution? 

Julian Zilberbrand: The biggest hurdles from the digital end are the proper attribution of search and social; you need actual log files that search and social partners will not provide. As for non-digital touch points, there is a lack of universal id to properly attribute exposure in more traditional areas of marketing and the proper data structure with functional nomenclature across all channels.

Ben Clarke: There is so much noise in the data as to what's really influencing a sale - something as simple as how close a person lives to a retail location is a main driver of sales - but not accounted for in attribution - further most attribution models.  In addition - the term attribution itself probably needs to be dimensionalized - attribution models are usually deployed against sales targets - but some channels may be great for building awareness and preference (which are important) but don't lead directly to sales.  In other words - attribution deals in Purchase Funnels where not every meaningful relationship is a sale.

Jane Clarke: The biggest challenge to full cross channel attribution is accurate measurement of consumer and/or household identity to link all the media exposure datasets to purchasing datasets and/ or other KPIs for marketing campaigns.

Charlene Weisler:  How long do you think it will take for formulate a viable attribution model? Is it even possible? 

Julian Zilberbrand: We still have work to do to get to MTA to be a truly viable solution for determining effective marketing touchpoints across all channels.  Not all consumer touch points are given proper credit or provide the level of time-stamped data which can effectively feed the MTA properly. Additionally, various advertiser KPIs present a real challenge to solve for in a single modeled approach. The model might not yield relevant results in every instance.  Creating models or game theory takes a significant time to ramp up and requires a level of patience that most marketers don’t have.  Of course it’s possible, but only if cross platform measurement solutions, both globally and for the U.S., reach their full potential.

Ben Clarke: I don't think there will be "a model."  This is the issue with one size fits all fractional attribution platforms you can buy out of the box - the neatly assign values to each channel - but when you go to activate against those insights they largely fail to be predictive.  Usually great attribution involves setting up controlled experiments on a continuous basis - so I don't think the goal should be to come up with "a model" at all - maybe better to come up with a methodology that can deliver versions of models over time.

Jane Clarke: Viable models are beginning to emerge for full cross channel marketing ROI attribution, and will improve along with the ability to link and/or model consumer and household identity across more and more devices, marketing channels, and purchasing datasets.

This article first appeared in