The Shift From TV Ratings To Impressions: Where Does Australia Stand?

Smart TV on the blue wall in living room,3d rendering

There have been a series of stories from the US over the past few weeks detailing TV stations moving away from traditional ratings in favour of impressions to measure ad rates.

With the rise of Connected TV (CTV) and the steady decline of linear television, it is only logical to assume that outdated measurement systems will eventually be brought into the 21st Century.

But the question is when?

In the US, NBCUniversal, CBS, ABC and Hearst have all flagged their support for making the change, while NBC and Telemundo-owned local TV stations have already started doing so.

Speaking on the Australian market specifically, The Trade Desk trading director AUNZ Lachlan McDivitt explained that while the timeline is unclear, the upside for brands is obvious.

“I think we’re on that journey, and I don’t think that I could really put a forecast on how long that’s going to take,” he said about the move from ratings to impressions.

“It’s definitely gained a lot of traction and I think that addressability and reach of frequency at a household level, tracking footfall, attribution or conversion data off the back of your connected TV activity, is something that is going to grow exponentially as the brands really lean in.”

Despite the promise of the technology, there is seemingly still a lot to be done.

The Trade Desk director of business development & API ANZ Stephanie Famolaro told B&T that some advertisers are still unsure on what a connected device is.

“I think it’s a massive education piece,” she said.

“There are a lot of linear TV buyers who are fairly new to the connected TV space, I think that without a lot of awareness in it, they can be a lot of assumptions made or confusion around how it’s connected.”

Pathway for success in Ctv

According to McDivitt, even with the vast spread of media and advertising across different platforms, the television remains the “most impressive piece of messaging” in an advertiser’s arsenal.

And the granularity of the data CTV provides only improves it.

“You don’t buy in bulk – you can buy a single impression,” he said.

“The fact that we can now buy a single impression, and we can know who’s in the household and who’s watching the TV at that time and then attribute that conversion to other channels is really interesting.”

When it comes to getting the most out of a CTV campaign, McDivitt stressed the importance of understanding the differences between linear and connected.

“They’re [linear and CTV] completely different in terms of their capabilities, while the kind of content experience is similar,” he said.

“There are more exciting things you can do while talking to your audience in their living room.”

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