With BARB releasing first official figures for TV Player Report last week, Lisa Morgan, Director of Client Services at Generation Media, outlines the importance of a transparent measurement system for the UK VOD market.
“The latest Ad Association/Warc Expenditure report forecasts a UK spend of £800m in online video advertising (more than radio and cinema’s combined spend), but when will the demand for data to accurately deploy and control advertising campaigns in this space be met?
The rise in expenditure is no doubt being caused by the growth in both broadcaster VOD offerings (e.g. ITV Player, All4 and Sky Go) and other online video sources such as YouTube and the resulting consumer shift in viewing to these platforms.
Despite 75% of online video spend being accounted for by traditional broadcasters, offering advertisers a natural extension to traditional TV spot campaigns, there is a lack in transparency to agencies and clients alike on who specifically is being reached and the levels to which they are being exposed.
Generation Media conducted a crude poll of 20 members of our team, made up of a group of the “younger” age demographic, who in accordance with Ofcom findings “are more likely to view on demand content”. There is an overwhelming agreement that the frequency to which they are exposed to ads during their on demand viewing is unnecessary, proving detrimental to their viewing experience.
“Not only do I get served the same ad 4 times during an hours programme, I then get to see it every night at that rate for the next month!”
“I often see an ad twice in a single break”.
These findings are symptomatic of the lack of control provided to advertisers in the buying of On Demand. Whilst within traditional TV spot airtime we can still ‘cherry pick’ individual spots based on programme, daypart and position in break, with a gauge on how many people we have reached and how often, broadcasters can tell us little beyond the number of impressions we have delivered On Demand.
They are guarded in the level of data they will provide, with some of the key players not able to provide total monthly streams being delivered by these alternative platforms which would allow agencies themselves to estimate exposure benchmarks to guide effective levels of investment for their clients.
Whilst YouTube’s programmatic buying system allows one to handpick content, programming information from broadcasters on an equivalent basis is being restricted to genres and names of shows with no reference to weights of delivery. Any ability to target more effectively is often hindered by price premiums.
This lack of transparency has been acceptable whilst advertisers have been testing emerging platforms but with accountability and customer acquisition at the forefront of much of what we do, the market is ready for a step change. With broadcasters having decades of experience in selling and delivering TV airtime they are best placed to ensure application of this process to the execution and evaluation of On Demand.
Project Dovetail, the hybrid measurement system to combine BARB panel data and device-based data from catch up viewing, will go some way to delivering an industry standard measurement system. Whilst this is still a work in progress, agencies and broadcasters need to work together to report data in a meaningful format that enhances traditional spot campaigns and prevents over exposure and the associated negative impact for brands.
Never has legal, decent, honest and truthful been more apt.”