TV Completes the Cross-screen Formula

TV Completes the Cross-screen Formula

Video consumption through digital means has skyrocketed, thanks in part to Google’s absorption of YouTube in 2006. Meanwhile, television has also continued its upward growth, despite industry expectations. The higher media consumption patterns offer media companies, marketers, and technology companies a huge opportunity to unite the two watching streams, but it’s not without its challenges.

In my former life in the world of digital video advertising, we looked to leverage “cross-screen digital video” as we quickly recognized that “online video” was not going to be restricted to the personal computer. This proved to be true as folks watched the latest Boston snow storm reports from a work computer, then laughed at a Louis C.K. skit via an iPhone from the caboose of the disabled MBTA and later, enjoyed Sophia the First with their kids on an iPad.

So the big question for marketers is: how do we deliver brand messages that effectively reach across every device?

Experts claim that today’s video consumer is enjoying that media across an average of two to three different digital devices daily. While giving a share of focus to digital is imperative for brands and media owners, we can’t ignore the most valuable and popular video available: the 52-inch screen on the living room wall.

According to IAB’s Video Ad Study, investments in both TV and video means that we are finally beginning to leverage the fragmentation of video viewership across devices, rather than just dealing with it. And with the advent of programmatic TV, which includes the marriage of data with media consumption patterns, media owners and marketers are finding ways to enhance the way they transact in the $75B world of television advertising. These data sets can also be used to deliver upon the promise of true cross-screen advertising.

Imagine the broadcaster who is able to bring to the upfronts not only sexy pitches about the latest TV programming and audience statistics, but also their digital video offerings. The media company will not only be able to package that offering to forward-leaning TV buyers who recognize the value of digital, but to be able to deliver measurable performance in the form of true cross-screen reach and optimal delivery of a particular audience target, irrespective of how the audience is watching video.

“A growing demand from our premium broadcaster partners across the globe is the ability to expand their sales efforts beyond their digital assets,” says Michael Shehan, CEO & Co-Founder at SpotXchange. “The media world is seeing that the types of solutions that SpotXchange has been focused on building for the digital video world are now coming together for TV and the next step will be tying those separate video and TV specific solutions together into a T/V solution to deliver results for both the media owners and the marketers.”

Unifying content, irrespective of their delivery method, and properly measuring and getting credit for the entire audience is the promised land to which programmatic T/V can build paths. Until we all work to solve these challenges, there will be valuable-but-undervalued inventory, a lack of proper ROI attribution to high-performing combinations of cross-screen placements.

Solutions are non-trivial, due to the need to align varying measurement currencies and disparities in detecting and targeting for reach and frequency, but these solutions will allow us to put more meat on the bones of the already beefy worlds of Television+Video. 

This is not a destination that we will arrive at overnight. However, by bringing together the innovations that have been underway for online video and are picking up steam in television, we can create standardization within and across these mediums. Then, some of these previous challenges will give way to holistic media buying and selling. 

Handling these items for the entire lifecycle of media transactions, from the plan to the eventual performance attribution will be necessary before we can say “problem solved!”

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