What Is Incremental Reach? A New Infographic From the Freewheel Council for Premium Video

By Comcast Advertising InSites Archives
Cover image for  article: What Is Incremental Reach? A New Infographic From the Freewheel Council for Premium Video

Depending on where you sit in the value chain and the levers you can pull, the term "incremental reach" can mean different things.

As a publisher (programmer or operator), you can manage exposure across screens, but only within your footprint. Advertisers and their agencies want to be able to manage optimal reach and frequency across all publishers and screens. There is no question that the industry will deliver on this promise, but it will take some time and significant collaboration to marry viewership and ad-exposure data across all endpoints.

In this new infographic by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, we explore the different terms, definitions, and perspectives surrounding the concept of incremental reach, focusing primarily on the combined use of linear TV and digital TV/ video advertising to help better manage reach and frequency.


There are a number of terms that the industry uses interchangeably or in association with incremental reach. Here are a few and their definitions:

Deduplicated Reach: Counting unique households or individuals reached

Finding Incremental Audiences:Intelligently reaching households or individuals (using data) that have yet to be exposed (or exposed with enough frequency)

Managing Reach and Frequency: Optimizing based on deduplicated and incremental reach

Incremental Reach: Reporting that uses deterministic data to deduplicate audiences and determine the level of incremental ad-campaign reach (in general or at a target-level of effective frequency)

There are also a number of parameters to use to achieve incremental reach:

  • Platform (linear TV and digital TV/ video)
  • Geography (national and local TV)
  • Publisher (head, middle, and long-tail)
  • Frequency (optimal level of ad exposure)
  • Duration (length of campaign with deduplicated reach and frequency)

The focus on incremental reach for the purposes of this work is on managing advertising across platforms and, specifically, linear TV and digital TV/ video.


Incremental reach capabilities are evolving rapidly, and many premium video providers can help advertisers achieve a smarter allocation of budgets across different channels to create reach efficiency today.

Some of these capabilities are based on modeling that provides directional guidance on investment strategies. Deterministic data sets (actual household or individual associated with an ad exposure) are the optimal way to measure true incremental reach and a more reliable way to control frequency. True cross-channel, cross-supply incremental reach will require many parties to come together for the greater good of the industry.

A likely first stage of evolution could involve a consortium approach, where participants would deduplicate exposure based on their data. Not all ad-exposure data across devices would likely be captured or deduplicated due to variances in data capture, definitions, and methodologies.

A second stage of evolution could be based on more standardization of data sets and an alignment of industry players around what data to use and how to use it. This would also include standardized definitions and methodologies.


While the industry focuses on the "reach" portion of the reach and frequency equation, there is a significant opportunity to manage frequency through the same mechanisms. As more linear inventory becomes digitally enabled, frequency management can scale by using exposure data across platforms (on an individual and household basis, in a privacy-compliant way) to flatten out campaign frequency curves. Persistent, unique creative ID's are essential to managing frequency across platforms.

The path to true incremental reach with optimal frequency across multiple channels is a multistage journey. There is no question that the industry will need to collaborate to accelerate that future, but there are plenty of tools and capabilities offered today that enable marketers to manage reach and frequency across screens. The next frontier is to create further efficiencies across supply partners. The opportunities for national inventory to apply data and addressability will drive more effective results for marketers.

Get the full infographic.

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