Redefining The GRP With The TRP; BlackArrow Goes Mid-Roll

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TRP’s Defined

The translation of the traditional TV ad price currency of gross ratings points (GRPs) into something more meaningful for the targeted age has proven difficult. Targeted ratings points, which are focused around a subset of the gross audience that an advertiser wants to reach, have become more common, but this data point is still too broadly defined for Simulmedia CMO Brian Wieser’s taste. Writing on MediaBizBloggers, Wieser makes the obvious point that by concentrating more tightly on an advertiser’s audience, the greater the ad effectiveness is in terms of sales. To tighten it the process up, aggregate as much sales and viewing data as possible and take advantage of some of the advances in predictive sales modeling. “Buyers and media directors alike know that the traditional response to increases in the price of media is to ‘downgrade’ the mix of programming on a media plan, using less network inventory and more run-of-schedule cable inventory,” Wieser says. In this economy, it’s hard to argue against going cheaper. But the thing is, one can still waste a lot of money by being cheap instead of tactically and strategically smart. Read more.

BlackArrow Goes Mid-Roll

Targeted TV ads are going to start looking like regular TV spots now that BlackArrow, a company that provides video-on-demand ad insertions for DVRs and other “advanced TV” systems, is rolling out mid-rolls for its MSO partners. Operators will also be able to use a single ad asset for both static and dynamic VOD distribution, and to swap out ad copy, ad creative, ad loads, etc. without having to re-encode the placements. Streaming video sites like Hulu have been doing this for years, notes Steve Donohue on Interactive TV Today. But addressable TV has tended to lag until recently. So in the grand scheme of things, the introduction of mid-rolls on cable VOD on one hand isn’t such a big deal, but then again, it’s a clear signal that the industry is finally starting to catch up to online methods. Separately, it will be interesting to see whether consumers’ apparent tolerance for more interactive ad placements has primed them for cable VOD.

Separately, CedMagazine’s Mike Robuck zeros in on the second part of BlackArrow’s news, which is that advertisers will be able to add APIs into their spots, making it easier to place orders that support both traditional ad placements as well as the “dynamic” targeted ones without the duplication. Read more.

Interactive Video Views To Double

At a certain point, counting online video views will simply involve measuring “video” without any qualifiers. Perhaps the time will come by 2015, when Cisco says that both the number of people watching online video will double – and along with it, the amount of video views will grow 100 percent as well. The LA Times, citing Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, 1.5 billion people will be watching online video by that year and they will spend more than an hour a day doing it. The factors behind the doubling can be attributed to Netflix’s aggressive push into streaming video – it already accounts for a quarter of all online usage, if you can believe that – and the total Internet audience is growing as well. Arielle Sumits, a senior analyst for Cisco, puts the numbers in greater context, saying that individual Internet usage is will more than triple to nearly 25 gigabytes a month over the next four years. Put another way, that would be like watching six HD movies, 30 TV episodes and a 3-D move a month, compared to the average user today who could watch three HD movies and five TV shows.

TV’s Poverty Problem

The issue of cord cutting by cable subscribers is mostly blamed on over-the-top services. But subscriber declines over the past year are attributed to larger problem: more and more people are having trouble affording those large monthly cable bills, says Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett (Variety has the details: read it). The average price of a cable/satellite subscription has grown 29 percent in the past five years as wages have fallen. Pay TV providers now derive $77.43 a month from each subscriber – not counting the revenue gains from new services like high-def and DVRs. Cable companies have faced the problems of poverty in the past and even now, the affects have been fairly minimal as subscriber losses were arrested in the last quarter, by and large. But unlike previous recessions, the poor do have alternatives thanks to Hulu, Netflix and OTT’s like Roku.

Data Is King

The various readers of this site – ad tech firms, programmers, MSOs, agencies, etc… -- would likely agree on one thing: data is king. It’s the primary driver underlying the decisions sell and buy advertising. Beyond that general notion, there are questions that elicit answers that spur intense disagreement. Mediapost’s Charlene Weisler outlines the questions from a panel sponsored by metadata provider Rovi: Does data need to be standardized or does the evolving marketplace demand new metrics for the new times? Most measurement info these days is bespoke, customized to a particular goal for a particular time according to advertiser and consumer segment. Still, most companies in the space argue for the need for some kind of common currency for measurement to unlock greater spending and value. After all, without an apples to apples comparison, how can effectiveness be determined? Increasingly, there are some emerging measurements that are vying to be regarded as the standard, such as TRA's Heavy Swing Purchasers and Purchaser Rating Points which CRO's Bill Harvey says many of their clients have adopted.

BT’s IPTV Upgrade

Upgrading an entire broadband network so users can access full IPTV is an costly and complicated process. But British Telecom has a plan to recoup that millions it costs to rent a channel by running the new service over its own network, reports UK site The Register. The idea is for BT Wholesale to resell valuable multicast capability. In turn, that would support an almost unlimited number of IPTV TV channels could be launched through BT, all of them with a signal good enough to show on a connected TV screen, indistinguishable from broadcast TV quality, up to HD and beyond.

But Wait. There's More!

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June 6, 2011 – 12:03 am

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