Rating Council Lifts Lid On ‘Viewability,’ Establishes Common Online Ad Currency

Media Daily News - , March 31, 2014

In a move that effectively establishes “viewable” impressions as the currency for online display and video advertising, the Media Rating Council today will lift an industry moratorium on the new metric. The move follows a period of review of the major third-party research supplier’s methods for calculating “viewability,” establishing a standard for comparing data from various vendors regardless of the methods they use.

Describing the new industry standard as a “common denominator in their viewability counts,” David Gunzerath, senior vice president-associate director of the MRC, said it was the result of a review of the disparate methods used by various vendors that “identified a half dozen reasons” why their viewability counts differ. The new MRC guidelines, he added, effectively “bring them into alignment.”

The resolution paves the way for establishing a true GRP — or gross rating point — metric for comparing online advertising buys against other media, particularly television, as well as calculating online’s contribution in cross-platform advertising campaigns and media buys.

The new standard defines an online ad impression as being viewable if 50% of its pixels are viewable to a user for one continuous second for a static display ad, or two seconds for an online video ad.

Gunzerath said the reasons for the differences emanate from the fact that various vendors have different reasons for calculating viewability and offering it as part of their solution. For example, some suppliers focus on “ad verification,” while others focus on audience estimates, and the differences in how and when they calculate viewability in their processes is what accounted for most of the differences.

Now that the MRC has lifted its advisory and issued recommendations on how to process a common viewability metric Gunzerath said a flurry of announcements are likely to be issued by the major vendors supplying viewability data. The result, he said, will be that “digital advertising will be in a stronger place,” because the standard will improve the perceived quality of measurement in the eyes of advertisers and agencies versus the other major media they buy.

“It opens the door for digital advertising to increase its share, particularly among [brand marketers],” Gunzerath predicted, adding, “We think this is a qualitative improvement that will certainly allow brand advertisers to better evaluate their campaigns.”

Following the MRC’s announcement, media audience measurement giant Nielsen announced a global deal to expand Integral Ad Science’s viewability data within Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR).

Advertisers Blend Digital and TV for Well-Rounded Campaigns

MAR 12, 2014 EMarketer

TV’s vast reach is part of appeal for digital advertisers

TV ad spending will grow at a fairly steady single-digit pace over the next several years. The growth rates are not exciting, but they are impressive given the sheer size of the market, according to a new eMarketer report, “US TV Ad Spending: Factors Shaping Today’s Television Market.”

TV will remain the dominant advertising channel, making up 38.1% of total media spending in 2014, and spending on the medium will continue to outweigh that of the nearest competitor—digital—through 2017, albeit with an increasingly narrower gap, until the balance tips to digital in 2018.

Numerous factors point to TV’s continued value to brand advertisers. These include TV’s sheer reach, the power and impact of big-screen advertising, and the predictability of TV’s audience.

Perhaps the clearest sign that digital and TV ad spending are not significantly cannibalizing each other is attitudinal: More and more marketers see the different channels as supplementing each other for a well-rounded campaign. For example, a September 2013 study from Forrester Consulting and Videology found that 52% of media companies, 68% of advertisers and 69% of ad agencies expected agencies to plan video ad campaigns holistically across all viewing platforms.

A September 2013 survey from Advertiser Perceptions suggested one reason for this approach. While 56% of TV ad buyers liked the idea of digital video ad convergence because it would give them a missing piece—digital’s better targeting and more robust metrics—54% of digital ad buyers looked to holistic advertising to gain more of TV’s core strength—vast reach.

TV scales for brand advertisers in ways that digital cannot (yet) match, giving them predictable results for their investments. Consistency on television can help it outstrip other media for gaining ad dollars.

Finally, TV ads tend to influence audiences more than ads in other media, providing impact along with reach and scale. The basic way to define such impact is the capacity to create a consumer or change consumer behavior.

Most audience members concur. In an August 2013 survey from AYTM Market Research, 83.7% of US internet users said TV commercials were the most effective form of advertising.


New Nielsen Data on Time-Spent in Front of Screens

Screen Time: TV Time-Shifted Viewing Rises Cross-Platform


Traditional TV consumption rose ever so slightly when looking at live and time-shifted viewing.

On a monthly basis, Nielsen Cross-Platform Report for the fourth quarter of 2013 showed that traditional TV viewing was up over 170 minutes/12 seconds versus 168 hours/2 seconds. Live TV was at 155:32, down from 156:24, and time-shifted TV was up at 14:40 versus 12:38.

New mobile device usage continues to rise. For example, “watching a video on the Internet grew nearly two hours per month — 7:34 versus 5:54. The time spent watching a video on a smartphone climbed to 1 hours and 23 minutes from 1 hour per month.

Looking at average time over an average day for all media, live TV still commanded the most time: 5 hours and 4 minutes. Next was listening to AM/FM radio, 2:46; smartphone usage was at 1:07; Internet usage, 1:01; time-shifted TV viewing 32 minutes, using a game console, 12 minutes; DVD/Blu-Ray, 9 minutes; and “using a multimedia device,” 2 minutes.

While lower than the overall average of all U.S. viewing per month — over 170 hours of live and time-shifted TV — young viewers still give a healthy portion of their viewing to traditional TV. Live and time-shifted traditional TV per month comes in at more than 121 hours of TV for adults 18-24 and 147 minutes for 25-34.

The TV advertising group, TVB, says 18-24 viewers’ usage was up 1.7% year-to-year for traditional TV and nearly 16% with time-shifted TV on a monthly basis. TVB also says usage of the Internet on a computer for this group was down over 16%, and “watching video on the Internet” was down over 12%.

Overall, Nielsen says there have been downward trends of Internet usage on computers for all content for all U.S. media consumers — 27 minutes/44 seconds versus 29 minutes/23 seconds coming from fourth-quarter 2013 to fourth-quarter 2012. But smartphone use continues to rise — at 34 minutes/3 seconds against 27 minutes/22 seconds.

Mobile Video Audience Tops 100 Million In Q4, More Time On Mobile Web

by , March 5, 2014  MEDIA POST

Consumption of mobile video in the U.S. might best be described as wide but shallow. The number of people watching video on smartphones (ages 2 and over) in the fourth quarter of 2013 reached 101 million, up from 80.7 million in the year-earlier period.

Average time spent per user in mobile video increased 23% to one hour, 23 minutes per month — but still trailed well behind that of other media, according to the latest quarterly cross-platform report from Nielsen. Traditional TV is still easily the biggest time sink for Americans, at 155.32 a month, roughly the same as a year ago.

Starting with the fourth-quarter report, Nielsen noted that figures for mobile use and mobile video are based on metered data rather than survey-based insights.

“With this, we see some trend breaks as we migrate to a more precise and consistent reporting of mobile consumptions, one that is based on measured behavior,” stated Dounia Turrill, SVP, insights, Nielsen, in the study.

Time-shifted TV accounts for another 14:40, up from 12:38. One interesting development is the growth in time with apps or the mobile Web on a smartphone at the expense of time spent on the desktop Web. The former increased to 34:03 from 27:22 a year ago, while the latter dropped by almost two hours to 27:44 a month.

Likewise, the number of people using the Internet on a computer fell to 204.4 million from 212.4 million, while App/Web smartphone users jumped 30% from 111 million to 144.3 million in the last year.

The average time spent using a smartphone overall (among adults 18 and over) per month increased to 1:07 in 2013 from 53 minutes in 2012.

Nearly all the time (89%) spent on media among smartphone users is in apps, with the balance on the mobile Web. The same pattern holds in tablet use, where 81% of time spent is devoted to apps versus the Web. Women use both formats on tablets more than men, at 27:45 versus 22:41 in apps, and 6:30 compared to 4:07 online.

However, on smartphones there is less of a gender gap, with men spending 29:32 in apps compared to almost 31 hours for women, and both sexes even in mobile Web use, at about 3:45 a month.

In terms of other demographic trends, African-Americans and Hispanics consumed mobile media at higher-than-average rates. Both ethnic groups, for instance, watched about two hours of mobile video a month, while Asian-Americans came in at 1:39.

Whites, however, make up the vast majority of smartphone users overall at 70%, with 73% watching mobile video.

The biggest chunk (38%) of smartphone users by age fall into the 35-54 bracket, with those 25-34 making up 22%, and those 18-24 at 16%. People 55+ account for nearly a quarter (24%). Smartphone video users, again, broadly parallel those figures, although only 18% of those 55 and over watch video on their phones.

The time for watching video on a smartphone peaks between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. — similar to the peak times for TV and online video viewing. That suggests people are dividing their attention among screens during traditional TV prime-time hours.