Feb 22 2023
Thought Leadership

Navigating New Media Currencies

By: Josh Chasin, Chief Measurability Officer

We are in the midst of a sea change in how media is valued, the currency used, and how audiences are measured across screens. The most obvious manifestation of this change is the dawn of the age of multiple currencies. 

But why is this happening now? What are the implications? The way we see it, new currency options are necessary because of how viewership has evolved, and how technology has changed to address this evolution. The best new options will drive more accurate audience measurement across screens and maximize business outcomes for both buyers and sellers by deploying contemporary solutions to new challenges. Let’s dive into how we got to this point and what it takes to be best-in-class. 

From sampling to data science

The biggest change in the cross-platform audience measurement landscape (besides the fact that now there IS a cross-platform measurement landscape) is the shift from sampling to data science. Up until recently, the only way to understand the behavior of a population was to draw a sample of that population, make observations, and extrapolate from sample to population. But this no longer makes sense:

  • Media fragmentation and the shift away from linear consumption renders sample-based techniques woefully inadequate to count impressions and advertising exposure.
  • Set Top Box data, Smart TV ACR data, and census-level data from digital media (including streaming) collectively provide far more behavioral signal than any survey or panel ever could. 
  • The science of advertising is evolving from broad targeting to precise activation, and from demographic targets (like age and gender) to advanced audiences. Measurement must evolve to keep pace,

Of course, this reinvention of audience measurement inevitably changes the criteria for excellence – what should buyers and sellers be looking for in a new currency provider? And what should we be striving to deliver to them? Components like sample frame and response rates are no longer the right criteria for evaluation.

Today, we believe the criteria that will differentiate best-in-class currency measurement providers will include:

  • Identity. Identity is perhaps the most important component of measurement in the new era. It is the lynchpin for combining Big Data assets and for appending demography and other characteristics to devices, households, and persons. 
  • Sophisticated Data: Instead of relying on a panel or single data source, sophisticated big datasets that combine multiple sources are key to the future of cross-platform measurement and media currency.  
  • Reach and Frequency Optimization: Linear and digital exposure are collected in different fashions and must be combined and deduplicated properly to support management of reach and frequency.
  • Real-Time Insights Across Advanced Audiences: Measurement must lead seamlessly into activation and become a feedback loop. Currency isn’t just about counting; it must also be about integration into the planning and activation process– ideally, in real-time. Successful currencies will have one foot in measurement and one foot squarely in ad tech. This is why VideoAmp’s platform allows clients to tap into advanced audiences and real-time insights to plan, optimize and measure.
  • Outcomes: Increasingly, buyers and sellers want to understand the impact campaign components have on outcomes– did the campaign move the needle? Currency must feed seamlessly into outcome measurement– ideally, living just a click away.

In the coming weeks, we’ll dive deeper into all this, in order to demystify the multi-currency landscape.