Advertising Week 2021: The Power of Converged TV Measurement

Last week, Advertising Week New York returned in full force, bringing industry leaders together, both in person at Hudson Yards and virtually, to unpack the hottest trends, particularly after such a critical and transformative year for the media ecosystem. 

AdvertisingWeek served as a reminder that, at this pivotal time in TV’s evolution, transparency, accountability, data interoperability and measurement all play vital roles in creating a converged TV marketplace where, through collaboration, all sides of the trade can win. 

TVSquared was proud to sponsor the Converged TV Measurement track, which featured 12+ discussions from our clients, partners and peers, including VAB, Blockgraph, dentsu, Roku, NBCUniversal and more. The full day of converged TV-focused content covered the most pressing issues and opportunities surrounding data, identity, the rise of streaming, cross-platform measurement, currencies and technology.

 Here’s a look back at a few of the main themes woven throughout the Converged TV Measurement sessions:

 Converged TV Requires New Currencies & Measurement 

The overall consensus was that the time has come for the TV ad industry to move away from legacy models and toward a more holistic, transparent and cross-platform TV marketplace that accounts for a world in which audiences watch TV exactly how, when and where they want. 

TVSquared’s President, Jo Kinsella, asserted that the TV industry revolution is here. Marketers are demanding more accurate, transparent metrics to ensure their TV investments are driving business goals. Jo stressed that the industry has been beholden to mediocre measurement and currencies for too long, and it needs a consistent way to count and ascribe value across all forms of TV and inventory suppliers. 

TVSquared's Jo Kinsella and VAB's Sean Cunningham at Advertising Week 2021

As revealed in TVSquared’s new report on the state of converged TV, there is a major shift in thinking among buy-side marketers globally. More than 70% believe that all forms of TV should be sold on impressions, and 80%+ cited “achieving cross-platform TV measurement and attribution” as a top priority.

Sean Cunningham, President & CEO of the VAB, agreed that it’s time for the industry to embrace change and welcome new, future-proofed currencies. Advertisers need to be empowered to better target specific customer sets and drive specific business outcomes. He explained how advertiser categories, such as direct-to-consumer brands, which are highly data-driven, are recognizing that the commerce-driving ability of converged TV makes it the best medium to achieve those outcomes.

Kelly Abcarian, EVP, Measurement & Impact, Advertising & Partnerships at NBCUniversal, echoed this topic, explaining that it’s “not [about] one currency to rule them all.” As an industry, we need to be in tune with what buyers and sellers want to agree to transact on. 

Meanwhile, Lisa Valentino, EVP, Client Solutions and Addressable Enablement at Disney Advertising Sales, stressed that measurement solutions need to be held to the highest standards—offering full transparency, as well as a holistic view of the ecosystem, inclusive of streaming.

Streaming Plays an Essential Role in Reaching & Meaningfully Engaging with Dispersed Audiences 

Advertisers across categories are increasingly moving beyond the “test-and-learn” phase of streaming, and incorporating it as a permanent and critical component of the media mix to drive business outcomes and, perhaps even more importantly, to gain incremental reach. In fact, TVSquared’s converged TV report found that 94% of surveyed U.S. respondents named the “ability to measure incremental reach of streaming/CTV beyond linear” as an important factor when investing in converged TV campaigns.  

Not only does streaming offer advertisers a way to reach and engage with audiences they wouldn’t be able to with linear alone, it also allows them to innovate their creatives beyond the traditional 30-second ad. Chris Bruss, Roku’s Head of Brand Studio, explained that viewers turn to streaming for more than premium content; they’re also looking for a better ad experience. Streaming offers more opportunities for advertisers to be creative in how they engage with audiences (e.g. interactive ads), along with advanced, digital-like measurement tools to target exactly who’s watching and what actions someone took based on an ad.

Imagine Entertainment’s CCO, Justin Wikes, stated that storytelling is king. Both branded content and ads—particularly across streaming platforms, where the opportunities to be innovative and engaging are so enormous—need to be anchored by powerful storytelling in order to reach and connect with consumers in a meaningful way.

Data & Collaboration are Driving Factors for Growth & Innovation in a Cross-Platform World 

The TV industry has rapidly evolved from data-poor to data-rich, making it a more powerful medium than it’s ever been. To truly take advantage of this wealth of data, the industry has to tackle some obstacles and legacy behavior that can inhibit progress. Fortunately, there was an optimistic feeling that, through industry-wide collaboration, the opportunities will be vast. 

Leaders from companies that are members of the TV Data Initiative speak at Advertising Week 2021

Bob Ivins, Chief Strategy Officer at TVSquared, discussed the importance of collaboration, standardization and interoperability becoming industry priorities, so everyone can leverage the new data ecosystem for all forms of TV—linear, addressable and streaming—making it easy to buy, sell, measure and optimize.

With a wealth of data also comes concerns and potential stumbling blocks around privacy protection. Blockgraph’s CEO, Jason Manningham, explained that while there are fragmentation and identity issues that need to be solved, the industry is starting to come together to do so, and that privacy-compliant, cross-platform TV transactions, at scale, are already happening and soon will become the norm.

During such a pivotal moment in TV’s evolution, the opportunities have never been greater to make TV the best medium possible for buyers, sellers, consumers and everyone in between. Embracing full cross-screen, cross-channel, cross-platform strategies and measurement is the only way to move forward and ensure we can all thrive in the success of the future.


Watch all the Converged TV Measurement panels here.