Streaming TV and media company Roku, has announced a new service for advertisers that allows them use the same style of demographic audience data for digital ad buys that they use with linear TV when they use the Roku Ad Framework. It’s an example of a larger push by the industry to create a more holistic way for advertisers to buy and measure audiences that move across multiple devices and screens. While Roku’s announcement is certainly an important evolution in the blending of TV and video, there’s still plenty of work left to be done. Here’s a snapshot of what still needs to be accomplished:
Gaining a holistic picture of how and where consumers watch
As more consumers shift their viewing between TVs, DVRs, smartphones, connected TVs and other TV-like viewing experiences, advertisers are still struggling to find a holistic method to keep track of it all. While there are plenty of key players like Nielsen, comScore, and smart TV manufacturers, no one, single company thus far provides a complete viewing picture.
Matching up performance metrics across platforms
TV’s established model of audience measurement, the GRP, hasn’t quite translated over to digital, where advertisers use a range of metrics — from impressions to viewability, to completed views and click-through rates — to measure success. The truth is that these conflicting measurements will need to find some “common ground,” a process that seems to already be well under way. Consider the example of IPG Media Lab’s philosophy of using “format-neutral” performance metrics, such as brand lift, to understand the universal impact of campaigns across both TV and video.
Taking advantage of new technology and tools
Much like Roku’s new TV-to-video ad buying tools, those in the ad industry have an opportunity to leverage a range of emerging tools designed to better merge digital and traditional ad techniques. One example is programmatic TV, which is seeing a growing embrace from advertisers. Other potential solutions like “addressable TV” and interactive TV may help further close the gap.
Roku’s new ad solution is a promising step forward for the industry as key players seek to find common ground between TV and video ad buying methods. But there’s still plenty of opportunity to better align these two complementary ad formats. Expect the drumbeat of innovation to continue.