To those of us in the media world, the discussion of attribution and cross-platform measurement has been going on for decades. Waiting for solutions has been painfully slow. But in the most recent Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) Cross-Platform Video Measurement and Data Summit (now in its 8th year), the big reveal was that not only has significant progress been made in attribution and cross-platform measurement, feverish activity has been taking place behind the scenes for years. The reason is that it’s simply not easy to form new metrics and protocols between the need for consensus across all types of companies and the persistent evolution and expansion of technologies.
For Jane Clarke, CEO Managing Director of CIMM, 2018 was a year of significant advancements. At last year’s conference, CIMM announced a Measurement Manifesto to keep the industry focused on cross-platform measurement. Her work on content labeling has been pivotal to stitching all pieces of video together across screens. This year, Clarke announced the launch of TAXI Complete (Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification), which is the creation of audio watermarks for content (EIDR) and ads (Ad-ID). It will, she said, “advance cross-platform video measurement and bring more measurement to TV.”
For me, the major takeaways were:
If it can’t be measured, it can’t be monetized, and if it can’t be measured accurately, monetization will be flawed. Content labeling is continuing apace with more companies adopting the coding and the cost of entry to enroll being lowered. One next step includes the advancement of deduplicated reach measurement to help accuracy.
According to Beth Rockwood, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Research, Turner Ad Sales, “Questions can be answered well with deduplicated reach. It’s an important tool and fits into the context of marketing mix models and attribution.”
As Krishan Bhatia, Executive Vice President, Business Operations and Strategy noted, “The transformation of the consumption of video …has accelerated in the past 18-24 months. Devices are driving it [while] measurement has not caught up or stayed ahead of the curve.“
Evolving technologies, such as voice assistants, “are making measurement more difficult,” Jack Smith, Chief Product Officer, Global Investment, pointed out. “It is happening in apps that are already walled gardens and operating systems that are also intermediaries, which can control pricing, ordering products and recommendations instead of having a direct relationship with the brand.” These, along with screens in self-driving cars, provide new viewing venues and experiences, and we need to understand how it all works and morphs over time.
“Privacy and data issues will become more important,” stated Laura Nathanson, Executive Vice President Revenue and Operations, Disney Advertising Sales. “Consumers will demand more privacy and more walls.” But how privacy balances with transparency is still to be discussed. For others, there is not enough transparency, at least when it comes to data labeling.
To that end, part of the content labeling initiative includes a data transparency label, which points to aspects of the data and its collection, such as how the data got created and where it came from. The careful balance between privacy and transparency, including the impact of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe on the U.S., require us to continue the discussion and create protocols.
“We need to hit the pause button and uplevel the conversation,” stated Radha Subramanyam, Chief Research and Analytics Officer, CBS. She was referring to the clamor of competing voices around measurement today. “I love the innovation in measurement and the abundance of products and granular data,” she continued. “But are we any closer to making things make sense? My call is for a common-sense framework. Stop the noise and see what we are really trying to solve for.”
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