Measuring media has never been as precise as stakeholders would like. Adding CTV (connected TV) and ATV (advanced TV) to an already intricate mix compounds the complexities.
I recently asked Scott McDonald, president and CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation, to update us on efforts to improve the process.
Paul Talbot: Could you share a bit of historical perspective? How does where we stand today with efforts to develop robust audience measurements for CTV and OTT compare with where we were 70 years ago working to develop audience measurement estimates for broadcast TV?
Scott McDonald: 2021 vs 1951? What’s the same? The market wants an independent measurement of the reach of a TV ad campaign. Tthis measurement is a key ingredient in setting prices between buyers and sellers – which is why it’s called a ‘currency.’ But not much else is the same.
Back then there were only 3 networks, everything was broadcast free over the air and the most popular shows got over 50% share of viewing. Measurement was done by recruiting panels to fill out diaries reporting their viewing and the ads were purchased based on the viewing of the program.
Now the market is vastly bigger but incredibly fragmented across different platforms and devices, with programs and ads sometimes viewed in different apps, each with their own measurement challenges.
Most measurement is passive and direct (no diaries) but because each person watches on multiple platforms and devices, understanding the deduplicated reach of a campaign is a challenge.
And now part of the TV market is addressable (ads can be targeted based on household or geographic characteristics rather than program context). Also, now a significant chunk of the market watches subscription-based ad-free TV. One huge difference is that back in 1951, an independent company like Nielsen could measure the market without soliciting cooperation from the companies being measured.
That is less true now since many of the signals needed for measurement must be passed by multiple distributors to be read by the measurement systems, a situation that requires cooperation between the measured and the measurers.
Talbot: What needs to happen for all the different stakeholders to be provided with quality CTV and OTT audience data?
McDonald: Now that the networks all own the data for viewing on their platforms, they need to agree to share these data in measurement solutions. Part of this means that the signals that identify a unit of ad or program content need to be interoperable (standardized) so that they can be read and comprehended across the fragmented landscape.
Beyond this, to get to the deduplication, we need some privacy-centric way of figuring out how those different screens and platforms map back to persons or households.
If we can’t get this done in a manner that is consistent with privacy requirements, then one approach is to aggregate those persons and households up to big enough groupings to make them useful to advertisers but impossible to reverse-engineer back to tracking and individual targeting.
If we can’t figure out how to do that to everyone’s satisfaction, then we need to go back to pure contextual targeting which seems retrograde to many, but which was perfectly adequate for the first 60 years of TV advertising.
There is a lot of debate in the industry about how to make sure that everyone gets counted, and it remains a strong argument for the importance of high-quality panels to correct for the inadequacies of the big data.
Talbot: What are some of the common misconceptions surrounding the measurement of these audiences?
McDonald: Until recently, it often was assumed that the audiences for CTV and OTT were younger and/or more affluent. However, the demographic profile of streamers broadened considerably during Covid so these assumptions aren’t true anymore.
Some media companies have been assuming that households will continue to spend ever higher levels for subscription TV, but the evidence suggests that there are limits.
Talbot: What’s the situation concerning the financial investments required to fund the necessary measurement technologies?
McDonald: These measurement challenges are technically difficult, even if you have a lot of cooperation and interoperability. That means that they will require a lot of capital.
Some of these barriers could be mitigated by more cooperation, agreeing on common technical standards, cooperating on things like universe estimate studies and approaches to ‘truth sets.’
But even if we resolve some of these problems, measurement will still be expensive and competitive. It has been challenging to introduce alternative measurement since most networks can’t afford to pay for more than one currency-grade measurement system at the same time during a transition. However, this can work if the new alternative can be produced more affordably.
Canadiens executive vice-president Jeff Gorton marks new era, meets Montreal media – Globalnews.ca
It’s been the talk of the town among sports fans for the past week: the Montreal Canadiens firing longtime general manager Marc Bergevin and bringing in Jeff Gorton as executive vice-president. The newly appointed VP met with the Montreal media for the first time Friday morning to mark the start of a new era.
The former New York Rangers general manager started by attempting to say a few sentences in French. When finished, he thanked owner Geoff Molson and said, “I hope that was OK.”
Gorton said working for the Habs is a dream. He feels like the Original Six franchise is a good fit, despite the fact that the Massachusetts-born VP grew up cheering for the Boston Bruins.
“You know, the Canadians broke my heart a lot of times. That’s my first memories, like in 1979, probably sticks out as the first one,” he told reporters.
Gorton insisted that he’s just starting out in his new role and he’s still getting a feel for the team. Regardless, the executive vice-president plans to work on player development and wants to add an analytics team.
“I do believe in analytics and I think that the way the game has gone, I think it’s a big piece of information that you need to have,” said Gorton.
A big piece missing from his qualifications is that Gorton doesn’t speak French. He said he’s learning — his wife even bought him lessons — and asks for patience.
“I wanted to be great at golf and I still stink. Right? So I will do my best,” he said, chuckling.
Fans seem to support his effort, saying it’s not language that will help the Habs get out of this season’s slump.
“He did some sentences in French this morning, so I think it’s a good step forward,” said fan Patrick Gervais.
The team is still looking for a French-speaking general manager to complement Gorton. Former Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy has expressed interest in the position. But Gorton says he has yet to draw up a shortlist, adding that it’s unlikely Bergevin’s successor will be named before Christmas.
“I don’t want to commit to anybody. I don’t want to say no to anybody so people can keep calling me if they like,” he said.
However, Global News hockey analyst Brian Wilde doesn’t expect Roy to get the job.
Instead, he said he thinks Molson and Gorton would like “someone who has a lot of experience in scouting and has some experience as an assistant general manager.”
“I think Mark Madden fits the role in Anaheim,” said Wilde.
Wilde says he liked what he heard from Gorton on Friday. But the executive vice-president kept his cards close so fans will have to wait to see what the Gorton era brings.
“I don’t think we got our answer to whether it’s going to be a full rebuild, and I think we’re going to have to wait just to see how many moves he makes,” said Wilde.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Montreal real estate broker fined $1500 for English-language social media ad – CTV News Montreal
A Montreal real estate broker has picked up a hefty fine for posting a social media ad in English only.
REMAX Broker Qiang Zhong said he was issued the ticket of $1,500 by the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) over the post, which advertised one of his properties.
Zhong said he didn’t mind picking up the bill. “I know the government just wants to promote a French language,” he said. “I don’t have any personal emotion against this stuff.”
The fine came from a violation of Article 52 of Quebec’s French Charter, which states that, “catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and any similar publications must be drawn up in French.”
The OQLF said it became aware of the infraction after a complaint on Oct. 23, 2019.
Zhong said he’s been working as a broker in Montreal for more than a decade after moving here from China, where he’s used to navigating between languages: Mandarin, the official language of Mainlaind China, and Cantonese, which is also common in his home province of Guangdong.
He said he’s still connected with his home communities, and has helped several new Chinese immigrants find homes in Montreal. He said he also encourages newcomers to learn French — the province’s official language.
“Even though I got the bill, I still love Montreal,” he said. “I could get double or triple the money in Toronto in Vancouver, but I want to stay here.”
He also said the ad brought prospective buyers to the REMAX website, which can be viewed in both French and English.
Watch Live: Canadiens’ Jeff Gorton addresses the media – Sportsnet.ca
Editor’s note: This stream has now ended.
For the first time since assuming the role of executive vice president of hockey operations for the Montreal Canadiens, Jeff Gorton will speak with the media — and his comments can be seen in their entirety right here on Sportsnet, starting at approximately 10:00 a.m. ET.
Gorton took on the role amid seismic changes to the Canadiens’ front office, including the departure of longtime general manager Marc Bergevin, and will be tasked with charting a course back to contention for Montreal, which has followed up a fabled run to the Stanley Cup Final with a troubled first quarter to 2021.
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