"Turner has been subscribing to custom out-of-home [OOH] measurement since 2010, first with Arbitron and then with Nielsen," noted Jay Leon, Vice President, Turner Sports Research. "We were the first to harness the power of out-of-home viewing."
Robin Garfield, Senior Vice President of Research and Scheduling, CNN, added, "CNN is the first news network to subscribe to this Nielsen service, and we were the first to offer a standard guarantee for OOH in 2014."
I sat down with Garfield (pictured below) and Leon (pictured at bottom) to gauge the value and impact of this new data.
Charlene Weisler: Why do this study? From a news and a sports perspective, what makes out-of-home measurement compelling?
Robin Garfield: We are in a rapidly changing time. People are highly engaged in what is going on in the news and how events are unfolding. OOH, while always important, is even more so now. The news environment is so dynamic that people want to stay up to date from wherever they are.
Jay Leon: OOH is another platform for viewership that has not been extensively measured in the past. This is the first time that there is a syndicated Nielsen service for out-of-home, and it is very important for sports in particular.
Weisler: Are there any data points you can point to that support the impact of OOH on news and sports viewership?
Garfield: We have been studying the impact of OOH for a long time with our custom study. Now, with syndicated data, we're able to more quickly see data. For example, in 2Q we saw a tremendous lift for the June 8 Comey Senate hearing: +18% for Adults 25-54 above our Live +7 delivery. That is a material increase in our audience. The greatest impact we typically see is in daytime, when people are out of their homes. We are eager to further understand where and how we are reaching our audience.
Leon: From what we've seen so far, the results are very compelling. People who watch sports out of home are very engaged fans who are watching for different reasons. Sometimes they may not be able to see the game at home or it's not available on their home sets. In these cases, fans are looking elsewhere. And then there's also the social aspect of watching a game at a bar, which makes the viewing experience special.
OOH offers tremendous viewership lift. With the Final Four there was +21% lift over in-home National People Meter currency delivery. That means that for every 100 in-home viewers, there were an additional 21 viewers out of home. For the NBA All-Star Game it was +17%, for the MLB play-offs, +14%. Bars and restaurants come to mind for OOH viewing, but there is also work. With the NCAA tournament, games are broadcast as early as 12 noon, which enables people to view during their lunch hour. Also, viewing in other peoples' homes was traditionally counted by Nielsen people meters. Now these OOH guests are first subtracted from the people meters so as not to double-count when the OOH measurement is added. Frankly, I think guest viewing has historically been under-counted because the meter technology requires button pushing. This new service is a better way to passively and more accurately count guest viewing in other homes.
Weisler: What should advertisers be considering when evaluating the impact of OOH as part of total video viewership across platforms and devices?
Garfield: Advertisers are interested in the ad effectiveness of the programming environment. Research proves that the more engaged the viewer, the more effective the advertising. It's all about engagement; the kinds of people you reach throughout the day, no matter in what location or at what time, are seeking out this content OOH. These viewers are also desirable because they have mobility, which makes them younger. They are an attractive audience in an ideal state of mind.
Leon: They should look at the lift metric as well as the social aspect of out-of-home viewing. These viewers are not distracted by a second screen. They are focused on the game and the discussion of what is happening on screen, not only the event but also the ads and the sponsors. Also, lift tends to be higher among younger adult viewers.
Weisler: How do OOH viewers generally compare to in home viewers?
Garfield: OOH viewers, because they are mobile, tend to be younger. And think about where you can capture OOH usage -- the gym, restaurants, airports, bars. Those are the kinds of people who are spending money, spending time with other people and are highly engaged. They are the optimal consumers.
Leon: The composition is younger [with] a higher composition of women viewing out of home sports than at home. This is presumably due to the social aspect.
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