Ratings Master Class: A Snapshot

master classThe Cynopsis Ratings Master Class on January 25 featured experts offering a variety of perspectives on a hot topic: where the industry is now when it comes to measurement, and where it needs to go. You really had to be there – but if you couldn’t attend, here are some notable quotes:

 “Within the linear TV world we used to only think about selling only 30-second or 15-second spots, and now we are in the world of brand integration, native spots, and integrated marketing spots where we actually let an advertiser buy a two-minute block to tell a story,” said Turner CRO Howard Shimmel. “So, it is important to think about the world of audience measurement, with comScore and Nielsen from the perspective of where we are today and where we see the business going. If we don’t think about the future now, we are always going to be in this perennial state of being behind.”

“It is not like people are consuming television less or watching any specific type of program less. They are accessing it in different ways,” said Jay Nielsen, Sr. Director, Product Leadership at Nielsen. “We have actually extended our ability to measure across all these platforms. Now we need to organize all the information in a way that everyone has the ability to maximize the usage. The ability to measure total audience is something we are working towards bringing to the marketplace.”

“A lot of ways our clients use our data is to understand how to create plans and schedules, and how to understand exactly how the media is performing,” said Nielsen’s Kelly Abcarian, SVP, Global Watch Product Architecture, who demonstrated an actual plan with a beauty brand client looking to optimize a campaign that ran over an eight week period. “You have to understand the measurement or the data you are working with. So, Nielsen has pioneered the first responsive database that is truly cross-platform…. Marketers want to know, with confidence, who they reach. Without really having confidence in knowing that, I am not sure you know the exact impact the sales made.”

 “We call ourselves an audience analytics firm, so essentially what we do is to help advertisers, agencies and broadcasters build attitudinal audiences,” explained Brent McGoldrick, CEO if Deep Root. “If, for example, you are a political campaign you are going to try to achieve some mindset change or if you are a large corporation and you are trying to get people to think differently, we go beyond age and gender to create attitudinal targets and then use those to change the mindset. We work at both the attitudinal and behavioral levels, and we try to build audiences with as much data as possible.”

 “We started asking the question, about eight or nine years ago, what is going on with our clients and how do we effectively target audiences,” said Zachary Soreff, President of Sawyer Studios, who used NBC drama Blindspot as a case study positioned in non-linear, linear and digital video. “One of the things that was going on back them was the explosion of VOD movies and we realized then how quickly the business was changing.”

“In the social world, if you want people to talk about you, the old model does not work,” pointed out Alec McNayr, co-founder and CEO of McBeard. “Instead, we like to ask all of our clients…what can you be a fan of and what can you love? If you can pick something to be a fan of, and other people are fans of, you are part of the community and part of the conversation. A fan watches every episode of a series, but a fandom will uncover all of the secrets of the series and be obsessed with it.”

Freeform has capitalized on our social growth and we have used it to create a brand identity,” said Trina Pepe, Executive Director, Integrated Marketing and Promotions, who cited data and analytics firm ListenFirst as the outlet for its social media data. “As part of our rebrand to Freeform we looked to switch gears to who we were focused on. We were always targeting millennials, but we decided to shift our emphasis to 12 to 34 year olds, labeling them ‘becomers,” and recognizing that their spending habits are not necessarily set.”

“Television is the core of any cross-platform application. That is where the majority of the money is still spent. The question, in that television environment, is how do we program smarter?” said Jeff Boehme, SVP Research, comScore. Like Nielsen, comScore is at a pivotal point in audience measurement because of the change in the landscape. “Now we have to plug in data and, more importantly, research insights into everything that happens within this media ecosystem,” noted Boehme.

 “In the future we are going to have to rely on devices to tell stories about media,” said Ashwin Navin, CEO and Co-Founder of Samba TV, who presented with Director of Research Ryan King. “We believe that device level data is going to be the currency for media in the future. There really isn’t a reliable pattern of how we watch television today, which presents challenges to the media businesses that want to reach people who no longer have a set pattern due to the mobile devices.”

“Behavior based audience measurement adds a great deal of richness and perspective about what we feel about, and what we know, about our TV audience,” said Tania Yuki, CEO of Shareablee, who cited 156 billion shared moments between consumers and a piece of brand content – TV shows, TV networks, celebrities, etc. “What that means is 156 billion times someone stopped what they were doing – something about a brand or a TV show that so intrigued them – that they needed to share that moment on a platform like Facebook or Instagram.”

 During a fireside chat (sans fire) between  Jane Clarke, CEO & Managing Director, Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, and George Ivie, CEO & Executive Director, Media Rating Council, Clarke asked Ivie about the most pressing item on the MRC’s agenda. “One of the things the MRC has taken on most recently is to try to elevate the quality of digital measurement,” said Ivie. “If you are a digital person you are probably suffering from people asking you about inbound traffic and fraud and ad blocking, and viewability and things like that. If you are a television person, you are probably wondering how your GRPs or impressions are being valued against someone placing their content on YouTube….The idea is that the enrichment and integration of these data sources are becoming incredibly important and the quality of that data is imperative.”


























Related Stories

03/20/23: Cynopsis Media Tech Update

Monday March 20, 2023 The Justice Department is investigating TikTok’s owner over alleged spying on journalists. Surveying the protection of American citizens on the app, the investigation is tied to the admission that Beijing-based internet company ByteDance employees had acquired data on American TikTok users. The company said that the workers involved have been fired. […]

03/19/23: Cynopsis Jobs


DIRECTOR OF SALES NEXSTAR MEDIA GROUP WKRN -TV (ABC) NASHVILLE TN Being a Leader of the Sales Team and owning the position. Driving new business development. Managing inventory, rates, political sales processes & revenue forecasting. Developing and executing sales packages and projects to increase stations’ revenue. Performing other duties as assigned. Minimum five yrs experience […]

03/17/23: “The Other Two” finally returning to HBO Max

Friday March 17, 2023 Today’s Premieres Amazon: Class of ’07, Dom AppleTV+: Extrapolations, Monster Factory, Sin Huellas, Swarm Discovery+: Beach Cottage Chronicles, Dance 100, Maestro in Blue, Sky High HBO Max: Beach Cottage Chronicles Netflix: Agent Elvis OWN: Put a Ring on It at 9p Oxygen: The Real Murders of Atlanta at 9p PBS: Great […]