Corporate President & President, AMI Division, Rentrak
Measurement continues to present challenges when it comes to multiple platforms and devices. What needs to happen to fix the situation for content owners, distributors and advertisers?
The great thing about this new digital era is that at its core, every viewing occasion, every consumer engagement with the medium is being captured. Digital means transactional. Rentrak approaches measurement on multiple platforms with a census-based approach: we aggregate these transactions from multiple sources. To do so we need cooperation from content owners and distributors to collect the transactions and their approval for a transparent set of metrics that can be shared with agencies and advertisers to make it easier for them to buy multiple platforms. With these transactions and transparent metrics approach we can report Total Television Audience and the lift generated by each platform.
What are some of the key challenges around measurement—and how does Rentrak approach solutions?
A critical challenge is the lack of transparency mentioned above and the fear of change. It is almost as if the industry worships a Greek goddess named “Inertia.” Measurement companies such as Rentrak and others also need to be very transparent with our partners about what we do have and what we don’t. The industry should not let the “perfect be the enemy of the good.”
What do your clients want from you today that they didn’t necessarily ask for three years ago? And why?
Measurement for TV Everywhere, addressable television measurement and advanced demographics—targets that go beyond age and sex, the cars in the driveway, the products in the pantry. As the consumer is watching more content on multiple platforms, it is critical to the industry that a census-like currency evolves. Addressable advertising on linear and VOD cannot be measured without a census approach. Advanced demographics cannot be provided in a precise and granular manner without the large census-like viewing transactions that only Rentrak collects across all operator types. The availability of big data in multiplatform video arena and the kind of work Rentrak does in harnessing and mining such data has opened up tremendous opportunities for clients across the ecosystem to learn more about their customers and how to engage them more deeply.
Set-top data has only gained in importance over the last few years, with many content owners pushing for C7 to get full credit for people viewing their shows both live and time shifted. Yet advertisers have been slow to change? Why, and how could the industry resolve the situation?
Rentrak today provides measurement for every day of viewing, even up to 28 days. By providing census-based measurement for every network using second-by-second data from televisions, it is up to the buyer and the seller to negotiate the value of an ad. In VOD for example we see that an average of 70% of the viewing happens after day 4. There is no magic in 7 days. Some ads such as a Macy’s weekend sale only have value prior to the sale but others such as a car ad that live with the content for 28 days have a lot of value, and the content providers should be compensated for those ads. We feel that the industry is moving to an era where the time metrics can better fit the product being advertised. While such innovation presents exciting opportunities, we understand that information and insights need to be easily accessible, actionable and relevant to our clients’ businesses. Rentrak works closely with clients to constantly evolve and improve our products to meet their needs.
With TVs and set tops now able to measure individual households and viewers, what kind of privacy issues do you see becoming prominent in the coming months and years?
Rentrak is completely privacy compliant and never received the name and address of a consumer. We use blind third party matches to attach attributes of propensity to buy specific products in order to help our clients provide more relevant advertising to their viewers. Direct marketers have been using HH level data to target consumers for years. We are now able to make television advertising competitive for those direct response dollars.
How does Rentrak compete in an increasingly competitive measurement space? What’s the secret sauce that will keep your clients coming back?
Rentrak is the only measurement company with a census based approach to measurement—we are capturing billions of viewing transactions across all operator types. Our systems were built from the group up to measure all 115 million television HHs. Our biggest competitive edge is our clients who tell us what they need, and as long as we continue to listen to them, our products will continue to grow even stronger.
What’s the number one trait that every sales exec needs to succeed?
Listen to your clients and prospects and never give up!