Top CTV buyers ‘frustrated’ by slow progress of ad measurement projects
Top Havas Media Group TV planner Jon Waite has expressed frustration that ad measurement in the burgeoning CTV space is being slowed down by an industry insistence on a single currency that works across multiple platforms.
Speaking at Advertising Week Europe’s Future of TV Measurement panel, Waite dismissed the need for a consensus on measurement currencies – something some in the business have said is vital for its prosperity. He said he is “massively frustrated” by the industry standards bodies blocking progress.
Does the TV industry need consensus on TV measurement?
“I don’t understand why everyone needs to agree on one methodology and one approach,” said Waite. “We are all aware that new data and tech is possible but there is a frustration at the industry standards bodies that they haven’t been quicker to let us do some of these things.”
Hinting to trade body-led projects such as Barb’s Dovetail, Thinkbox and broadcaster-led C-Flight, as well as Isba-backed Origin, Waite said these projects are “slow-moving” and likened it to “turning a huge cruise ship – it all takes so long.”
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Waite, who heads up Havas Media Group’s global activation, said: “All the cool stuff that could be easily achieved feels a bit further away and the frustration is you can see it, it’s right there, but the reality of actually being able to do it feels like hard work.”
According to Waite, agencies and brands should just go to independent measurement firms for different needs. “You’ve always got to be able to say, ‘I paid for a unit of media and therefore there is a currency and I need to pay for that,’ but how you value that unit of media is very different,” he said.
Gareth George, group head of media at RVU, owner of Confused.com, Uswitch and Zoopla, also said it was “incredibly frustrating” waiting on the bodies. “Barb sort of moved in the right direction, but Dovetail is a bit of a joke and it has been for the last decade. Origin is still a couple of years away, C-Flight seems like the best one at the moment, but what is the level of independence within it?” he said.
George said brands are asking for the same thing from the bodies they’ve asked for years, which is: “Who am I reaching and who am I not reaching?”
“What a lot of people in the industry don’t understand is the amount of pressure put on in-house media teams who are accountable to the C-suite, who ask very basic questions like, ‘why are hundreds of millions of pounds being spent in a way that is not accountable?’” he said.
Elsewhere in the session David Barker, senior vice-president of global commercial partnerships at the TV measurement and adtech group Samba TV, said the competition between currency providers differs in the US to Europe. “Because Nielsen is a commercial company, a lot of people can come into the space and jockey for position,” Barker explained.
It’s a different picture in Europe, where many of the measurement companies, like Barb in the UK, are funded by the broadcasters. In these cases, Samba wants to complement their data and not displace them. Barker claims in the UK Samba has access to more households than Barb, but Barb can offer deeper data. “We see it as a collaboration.”