Audience Measurement Solutions for Advertising: 7 Questions to Ask

Streaming is up 266% over the last three years globally and 18% of the U.S. doesn’t watch any linear television, having cut the cord completely. Soon, streaming will be the predominant viewing format. And yet, advertisers have lagged in moving their ad dollars from linear to streaming.

Much of this hesitancy to invest is due to an inability to target, measure, and attribute advertising. Publishers need an audience measurement solution to provide advertisers with the insights they need to shift investments from traditional television and social media to streaming. An audience measurement solution is an actionable data set that supports publishers in targeting audiences, quantifying campaign performance, and evaluating the success of ad campaigns.

Streaming advertising identity and measurement are particularly challenging. Lack of industry standardization, the lift for publishers, and the need for products built for a variety of platforms where video is consumed make finding the right solution difficult—which is why we’ve laid out seven important questions to ask as you evaluate options to solve for audience measurement in streaming.

1. How quickly can I go to market with the solution?

With so much money at stake, speed to market with an audience measurement solution is crucial. Advertisers are demanding that publishers provide better solutions in order for their investments to follow. No publisher wants to be left behind without a solution that can measure advertising effectively.

2. What type of data and coverage should I expect?

It’s important to consider what type of data to receive from an identity and measurement solution. Publishers need a solution that doesn’t rely on surveys and instead has continuous, census-level exposure data, in real time, because that is more accurate, stable, and empowers publishers to make decisions more quickly. Census-level data can also better unlock attribution capabilities. The ability to deduplicate reach and frequency of census-level data to accurately measure households is growing in importance on both the buy and sell side.

Publishers will also need data that doesn’t just cover ad breaks, but offers continuous measurement to understand the whole viewer journey. Because quality of experience (QoE) is such a huge part of a successful ad strategy, a measurement solution that provides real-time alerting to ad issues such as buffering, slate, or incorrect bitrate, to give ad ops teams a jump on troubleshooting issues before they result in viewer drop off, will support better monetization and viewer engagement.

3. Will the data be standardized and interoperable?

It’s great to have all the right data, but if you can’t activate that data in the right places, then it’s not nearly as beneficial. That’s why having a standardized data set across all brands, devices, and distribution points makes unification in a fragmented application landscape much easier. Publishers may operate a number of different brands across many different devices and they can’t have a solution for only connected TV (CTV) when mobile and desktop viewing is a significant portion of their audience. A data set that is consistent in its collection across all of these end points provides a quick way to unify identity for the whole organization.

4. Is the solution about to pivot for changes to device policies and privacy regulations in the next few years?

As cookies and advertising identifiers are deprecated, an increasingly important requirement for a measurement solution is that it doesn’t rely on manufacturers’ device IDs or third-party cookies, can utilize a multi-ID framework to build its solution, and is built with GDPR and CCPA in mind.

5. Will the data be verified by a neutral, third-party?

A measurement solution is only useful if advertisers can trust it, and that is an important point for publishers to consider. A neutral third-party like Conviva can provide legitimacy to a publisher’s solution, while a publisher maintains ownership of the data.

6. Can I control my own first-party data?

With streaming, there is an opportunity for a measurement revolution where publishers can completely reevaluate how video is measured and implement a solution that puts them fully in control of their data. Publishers will want to select an audience measurement solution that can help build first-party data strategies with the insights, accuracy, and neutrality that are necessary to measure, identify, and verify viewership—and control exactly where and how it is made available.

7. Can I just build a solution myself?

While it may be possible to build an audience and measurement solution in house, publishers should evaluate if that is the best path to take. With a partner, there will be greater standardization across the ecosystem, making the adoption from the buy side more likely (and faster) and easing the challenges of measuring distributed content. By partnering with an organization that is an expert in this space, a publisher can reap the benefits of R&D resources dedicated to solving for changing regulations and manufacturing polices.

Publishers should look for an audience and measurement solution that meets these requirements, but more importantly, a true partner that can guide an entire organization through these challenges now and into the future.

To learn more about finding the right audience measurement solution, download our How to Navigate the Search for an Audience Measurement Solution for Advertising white paper.