Targeting, Fraud, Viewability And Completed Views Will Shape The Next Generation Of TV

(ADEXCHANGER) – On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video.

Today’s column is written by Tim Ware, vice president of advanced television at Telaria.

In my last column, a little more than a year ago, I outlined the philosophical differences between programmatic TV and digital video buyers. While both approaches have their virtues, I proposed that in the end it doesn’t really matter because measurement will unify and propel this fast-growing business.

One year later, our ecosystem has never been in a greater state of disruption. What have we accomplished, and where are we going? While I believe it still comes down to measurement, there are additional variables that have been nagging digital video natives for some time.

I hope that when we look back a year from now, these challenges will no longer be stumbling blocks. The four issues to focus on right now are targeting, fraud, viewability and completed views.


It’s ironic that the traditional legacy TV business and leading MVPDs have seemingly cracked the code to deliver addressable one-to-one targeted campaigns, thanks partly to ad tech companies, such as INVIDI, Visible World and Cadent.

Meanwhile, targeting across the full connected-TV (CTV) ecosystem proves to be more challenging since the CTV landscape spans video game consoles, streaming media boxes and smart televisions. Myriad devices, with a variety of device IDs but no universal ID (yet), make it difficult to establish a broad-stroke standard the industry can fully embrace.

At same time, the publishers and media companies producing CTV content haven’t untangled their growing “web” of apps, often developed by third parties but mostly lacking consistent technical features across operating systems. In the interim, exciting data companies such as Tru Optik, Neustar, InScape and Acxiom offer compelling solutions, while hardware manufacturers like Roku and Samsung lead the pack in harnessing first-party data to deliver addressable OTT advertising.


I may be a hopeless romantic, but fraud should be much harder to perpetrate with “premium” video, particularly with video streamed into TV sets. The video industry has a massive head start as it’s already educated about the nuances of ad fraud through traditional digital ad formats. The Ads.txt initiative has gained traction and appears to be a very significant contribution from the IAB that will send unauthorized sellers fleeing like roaches.

But Ads.txt is still primarily used by premium publishers that only use a handful of supply-side platforms. It appears to be less relevant for second-tier domains that want to list as many sellers and resellers as possible to achieve widest reach. Certain key descriptive data is also not included in Ads.txt files, such as video vs. display or country of origin.

Some publishers are enhancing value and functionality by adding comments and formatting to help interpret and organize Ads.txt files, but this needs to be scaled. We can expect that Ads.txt 2.0 will transition to a more sophisticated solution with more robust features because the core goal of eliminating confusion and minimizing wiggle room for bad actors is vital.


At its most basic level, there’s no real measurement for viewability in CTV. But common sense suggests that viewability should have no issues on the TV set. We all know that when ads are on screen, they are 100% viewable. It’s the biggest set in the house, and while it only registers as one impression, there is often more than one person sitting in the room watching that ad.

So while viewability may hinder some buyers, let’s really focus on measuring the quality of viewers and co-viewers so that we can more quickly capitalize on all the benefits of advertising on connected televisions. SlingTV and comScore’s recent announcement of measuring targeted addressable OTT offers the first evidence of the possibilities and indicates where we are all heading.

Completed Views

Engagement levels and, subsequently, completed views are higher in advanced TV environments than in linear TV environments. Connected TV viewership allows publishers to deliver a more logical, targeted and dynamic commercial load to an end user in the living room on a big flat screen in many scenarios.

Linear TV’s blaring, highly cluttered ad breaks filled with national ads and tune-in promotions, plus two minutes per hour of local ads, have unintentionally created a less premium environment than now typically seen in advanced TV. It’s no wonder that consumers typically tune out completely, whether it’s making a sandwich, multitasking or taking a bathroom break. The more data we can get on completed views and agreement on what they are worth compared to partial completions, impressions and the like, the faster this format can truly take off.

There is some work to be done, but none of these issues are insurmountable. As data becomes ever more central to advertising, it will play a major role in solving each of these stumbling blocks. Beyond that, it will add a rich layer of insight to TV campaigns that digital folks have craved for so long. As more formal measurement and currency factors are put in place to support the next generation of targeting and measurement, tackling fraud and viewability will bolster advanced TV spending in the coming broadcast year.

Follow Telaria (@TelariaVideo) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger).

eCPMs: You only get one chance to make an effective impression

Oh, the good old days when television was simple to plan and buy! All you had to do was:

  1. Pick a Nielsen age and gender cohort – Adults 18-49, Men 25-54, Women 18-34,
  2. Negotiate your cost per thousand (CPM) by daypart,
  3. Refer to the plan’s daypart mix,
  4. Allocate dollars by daypart,
  5. Calculate whether that will achieve your reach and frequency goals, then…

Wait a minute! That’s not simple at all!

Not to mention the fact that age and gender cohorts can’t tell you about, for example, dog ownership if you’re Purina® or auto intenders if you’re BMW. So, while your television media buys can be efficient on a CPM basis, you know your campaign is reaching lots of people who have no need or interest in the product you’re advertising.

Enter addressable television, which behaves like direct mail. If you’re a direct mail advertiser you buy a mailing list because it contains the names and addresses of the people who are most likely to buy whatever it is you’re selling.

Same goes for addressable television, except the age and gender CPM calculations are no longer relevant. Since addressable television enables you to only reach the people in your target audience, the metric changes as well. We move from the tired old age and gender CPM to the shiny, new eCPM.

eCPM – the effective CPM that tells you how much you’re paying to reach your precise target audience.

This is best illustrated by way of an example. Assume you’re buying television for Purina Dog Food, a brand only interested in reaching dog owners. (For the moment, we will ignore people who may someday own a dog; we’ll discuss them a little later.) And let’s make a few assumptions to illustrate how the eCPM calculation works:

  • Purina has been using a target demographic of Women 18-49 (W18-49) on linear television, since their research indicates that’s mostly who buys dog food.
  • They’ve been paying $10 per thousand (CPM) to reach W18-49 on television, using whatever additional research is available to them in picking out the best programs for reaching dog owners.
  • And finally, ten percent of W18-49 own dogs.

Given these assumptions, Purina’s current effective CPM (that is, the cost per thousand they’re paying to reach dog owners on linear television) is $10/10% = $100.

In our hypothetical example, Purina is paying $100 to reach a thousand W18-49 who own a dog. It’s important you get comfortable with this number, because the way you calculate the cost of media is about to change.

Now let’s assume Purina is interested in running an addressable television campaign, so they acquire a list of people who own dogs, regardless of age or gender. Of course, if Purina wants to further refine their audience, they’re free to do that – but let’s not overcomplicate things.

So how much should Purina be willing to pay to reach a thousand dog owners? Keeping in mind that until now they were paying $100 to reach a thousand dog owners, shouldn’t they be willing to pay that same number for addressable television, where they’re assured of reaching only dog owners?

The answer to that question is “No.”

Here’s why: In the linear television example, Purina knows that only ten percent of the audience their campaign is reaching own a dog. In other words, ninety percent of the audience doesn’t own a dog BUT (and it’s an important “but,” to which I referred earlier) those people MAY someday own a dog so the Purina message has some brand-building value. By contrast the addressable campaign, which ONLY reaches dog owners, has no value in building the Purina brand name among current non-dog owners.

Purina would not want to pay the same $100 eCPM for an addressable campaign that it’s paying for its linear campaign, since it doesn’t enjoy the (admittedly marginal) additional benefit of building its brand among non-dog owners.

Therefore (if, as Keynes said, it has to price itself rationally), the addressable television marketplace must charge advertisers a lower eCPM than what they’re paying for their linear campaigns. And the current addressable marketplace seems to be priced at about two-thirds of the linear eCPM, though that number varies by advertiser category.

So…welcome to the new world of TRULY simple television media buying. All you need is one number – your eCPM – and that will tell you exactly how many potential buyers of your product your media budget will reach. It’s as simple as that.

Written by Michael Kubin, EVP Media



DISH Network can now measure all its addressable ads no matter where they air


The Dish Networks and Sling Television activation at CES 2017. Credit: Chris Farina/Corbis via Getty Images

Internet-enabled TV could be getting closer to making TV advertising smarter.

Dish Network is working with Comscore to measure so-called addressable ads targeted to individual households no matter where or how they are watched, including through its over-the-top service Sling TV.

Currently, Dish Network measures addressable ads that run on its traditional satellite service separately from those that run on Sling TV. With Comscore’s measurement capabilities, it can now combine the two so marketers can get a clearer picture of total reach and an apples-to-apples comparison. It can also measure across platforms including desktop, mobile devices, smart TVs and devices like Roku.

When Dish Network first announced its internet-delivered skinny TV bundle, one of its promises was to make TV advertising work harder by being able to target very specific audiences. It’s been nearly three years since the satellite operator launched Sling TV, and while it began offering brands the chance to target their ads to specific households in mid-2017, for the most part, the ad experience on Sling continues to look similar to its satellite counterpart.

As for addressable advertising, the industry has been talking up the ability to send messages to individual households for years, but progress has been slow due to limited reach and labor-intensive processes.

But Adam Lowy, head of ad sales at Sling TV, declares 2018 the year of addressable advertising. He says Comscore’s measurement will boost the potential reach for addressable campaigns and bring new business to the addressable marketplace.

Lowy declined to reveal how much addressable business has been conducted on Sling TV, but said Dish Network has executed more than 1,000 addressable campaigns.

According to Comscore, addressable advertising on TV is expected to grow 66 percent this year to $1.3 billion.

Dish Network began selling ads for Sling TV in programmatic auctions last summer. And in the fall it allowed marketers to buy addressable ads across Dish and Sling TV in a single buy.

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