Third party measurement essential for Connected TV investment, says Venessa Hunt

Third party measurement of Connected TV is needed to get marketers on board, Group M’s head of digital investments and partnerships, Venessa Hunt, has argued.

Hunt, who sat on a panel with Nine, Seven and MCN at Mumbrella360, said while clients “absolutely” know the potential of Connected TV – which now makes up 45% of total content consumed – they are confused about what they are trying to achieve.

Hunt says measurement is needed to get brands and agencies to invest in Connected TV

“To get money behind any from of advertising we need to have some sort of third party measurement, it’s that simple,” Hunt said.

“When we collectively say measure in the industry, there’s 40,000 things you can measure in digital and that would seem stupid in a connected TV environment. If we look at measurement of how many people saw my ad – I think that’s really important. If we go down huge routes of brand safety and view ability and all those kinds of things, I think we are going to have some incredible trouble in Connected TV.”

“It’s more education has to happen around the behaviour bit, so how is it different, how is it consumed differently,” she added.

Nev Hasan, MCN’s digital sales director, said Connected TV “reeks of mobile and mobile challenges”, warning if measurement is not tackled, the new opportunities in Connected TV could fall into the “digital bucket”.

The panel (L-R): Nine’s Pippa Leary, MCN’s Nev Hasan, Seven’s James Bayes and Group M’s Venessa Hunt

“This reminds me of mobile. Connected TV reeks of mobile and the challenge of mobile,” Hasan said.

“It’s different, Connected TV is suddenly being branded as digital with certain barriers and constraints and the biggest fear I have is we do what we did in mobile which was we couldn’t sort of educate or have a bit of common sense in some of the metrics that aren’t available, and then literally what we did is make it the lowest common denominator and we just go into a discounted world and it’s not the right way because we then spend years and years re-educating everyone on the value of a big screen TV-like environment to engage mass audiences.”

“That is where I’m beginning to be worried about it.”

On the issue of viewability specifically, Hasan noted that metric was designed for a page with admittance of scroll, rather than a big TV screen-like device.

“When you think of environments that our platforms site within, they are literally click to play, full screen. The ad is highly viewable. Because we can’t insert some sort of tracking to fire back and verify it’s viewable – I’m a bit like, there’s an element of common sense,” he said.

“Brand safety, we are 100% brand safe – some of the content might be risky, Love Island, Bachelor in Paradise, but again its highly brand safe content. I sort of look at that and go – we have to remove ourselves and think of it in a bid of the hybrid TV model and just add another layer or a bit of smarts here. There’s a huge opportunity and these barriers are used over and over again.”

He later added: “The opportunity is there. If we are spending two years educating clients and agencies on how to buy this, I almost think there’s an opportunity for a first mover advantage.”

In defining where Connected TV sits, Hunt said Group M’s view was that a connected TV was more like a TV, as opposed to digital video.

“But when it’s things like we have an aggregated video supply – so we have to pull a whole lot of video supply together, short form, long form, whatever it might be, of course I’m going to need to measure viewability,” she added.

Seven’s digital sales director for OTT video, James Bayes, said there was still some work to be done in the measurement space.

“The sooner we can get to a point where we have a single view of reach or frequency, whether you are watching on linear broadcast or on a Connected TV the better, and we are not too far away from that,” Bayes said.

Nine’s commercial director for digital sales, Pippa Leary, added: “We are running the danger of taking the worst of digital and the worst of television and putting them together. So we need to take a really active role, which says ‘okay, let’s not make those mistakes once again, let’s all agree on a set of metrics, measurements, currency and attribution that actually makes sense in this hybrid medium’.


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