Why Automatic Content Recognition Is A Game-Changer For Advertisers

Why Automatic Content Recognition Is A Game-Changer For Advertisers
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

In this op-ed, Janice Chan (lead image), VP of platform and client services for APAC at Nexxen, discusses how automatic content recognition is changing the game for advertising professionals.

Automatic content recognition (ACR) technology has emerged as a pivotal tool for brands aiming to navigate the intricacies of the Asia-Pacific market. With its ability to decipher and analyse audio and visual content in real-time, ACR offers a comprehensive understanding of consumer preferences, habits, and engagement patterns in a privacy-compliant way.

Understandably, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding ACR technology. But is it really the solution to all of the AdTech landscape’s challenges in the APAC region? I’d say maybe not all – but many. Let’s take a look:

Are you an advertiser that wants to:

  • Stay relevant with your consumers?
  • Cut through the noise with the rise of various streaming networks?
  • Improve ad experience and drive better audience attention?
  • Enrich your cookie-less strategies?

If so, ACR technology can help with all of that. It has the potential to enhance advertising strategies, improve targeting, unlock incremental user reach and, most importantly, deliver personalised and relevant ad experiences that actually resonate with your audiences in a privacy-compliant way.

What is ACR?

ACR is an advanced technology on most smart devices that instantly identifies the content a consumer is listening to or watching. This type of data is inherently privacy-compliant for opted-in devices, making it especially valuable given the impending deprecation of third-party cookies. As an example, Shazam uses ACR to recognise songs while smart TVs leverage ACR to recognise which networks, programs and commercials are being watched – as well as for how long the viewer is watching them. With ACR, advertisers have actionable insights for use in:

  • Converged TV planning and investment allocation recommendation
  • User exclusion to maximise incremental reach
  • Ad re-targeting & re-messaging
  • Converged TV measurement

How does ACR work?

ACR, with registered devices that have explicitly opted-in users in Smart TVs like Hisense, allows certain information to be collected and used to provide personalised advertising. The information collected is called “Viewership Data” and it can include:

  • Information about the network and programming content playing on the device, such as TV channels, shows, movies and commercials watched
  • Content from any media players, gaming consoles, over-the-air broadcast or other audiovisual sources playing through the smart TV
  • Additional information like timestamps, IP addresses and smart TV identifiers

ACR technology recognises the content playing on smart devices, allowing automatic collection of content consumption data at the screen level without requiring user input or search effort, provided users have opted in beforehand. In essence, smart TV ACR data delivers privacy-safe targeting precision.

This is how it works:

  1. Collection: Smart TV ACR data is collected via a software development kit (SDK), which is deployed into the chipset of Smart TVs.
  2. Opt-in: Upon SDK deployment, users are prompted to opt-in to ACR data collection, making it a privacy-compliant data source.
  3. Capture: The SDK captures “fingerprints” of the content on the screen using frame-by-frame screenshots of content and/or audio signals. These fingerprints are generated every few seconds.
  4. Match: The fingerprints are then matched to a content and ad catalogue database to identify what was played on the TV.

ACR technology: Advertisers’ ultimate problem solver

Now that we know what ACR is and how it works, we can move into the fun part: the tricky challenges this data solves for advertisers.

4 Advertising hurdles overcome with ACR

  1. Content Identification (understand your consumers’ viewing patterns): ACR technology scans and identifies content by comparing the audio or video fingerprints of the content being watched with a vast database of known content fingerprints. This process allows the system to recognise what channels and shows are being viewed, including the specific episode and time stamp.
  2. Brand & Ad Exposure Identification (understand your current ad touchpoints with consumers): ACR enables the collection of viewership patterns by identifying what is being watched and when. This data encompasses details, such as which shows are being watched, when they are watched, how frequently they are watched, and critically, where brands and their TV advertisements are exposed to viewers.
  3. Converged TV Reach and Incremental Reach Measurement: ACR data enables comprehensive measurement of TV viewership activity across both linear and digital TV screens. This facilitates the assessment of viewer overlap across these screen types and the efficiency of TV screens for brands. It also empowers optimisations in audience reach based on viewership behaviours, aiming for maximum efficiency and user reach, such as cross-screen frequency control.
  4. Targeted Advertising: With the data collected, advertisers can tailor their ads to specific audiences based on their viewing habits. For example, if ACR data shows that a household frequently watches cooking shows, then advertisers might target that household with ads for kitchen gadgets or grocery stores.

ACR and the future of TV

ACR data empowers advertisers with actionable insights for TV planning, audience activation, and enriched measurement capabilities, which are essential for navigating the complex and fragmented media landscape. It enables them to drive more effective advertising strategies and maximise campaign performance. At this critical juncture, its relevance can’t be denied.

Why ACR technology is so important now:

  • Surge in smart TV and connected device use in APAC: With the proliferation of smart TVs and connected devices in APAC, more and more households are consuming content through these platforms. ACR technology enables the opt-in devices to identify and track what users are watching in real-time.
  • Consumers demand tailored content: ACR data provides granular insights into viewership behaviour, including what programs and advertisements are being watched and when and for how long. This level of detail allows advertisers and content providers to better understand their audience and tailor their content and advertising strategies accordingly.
  • Improved campaign efficiency and reduced media waste: Leveraging ACR data allows advertisers to reach specific audiences more effectively, minimising overlapping audiences and ensuring ads are delivered to the most relevant viewers. This reduces wasted media spend by targeting viewers based on actual viewing behaviour, maximising the impact of advertising dollars.

To sum it up, ACR data provides a viable solution for advertisers to better navigate this fragmented TV landscape. This not only enhances viewers’ satisfaction by reducing ad clutter but also boosts ad effectiveness, driving higher engagement and conversion rates. Ultimately, ACR empowers advertisers to better understand consumers’ viewing behaviours, which can then:

  • Inform more comprehensive TV planning
  • Deliver more relevant ads with robust measurement
  • Foster stronger brand-consumer relationships in the increasingly competitive media landscape.

This is the future of TV.

Please login with linkedin to comment


Latest News

SBS Audio Campaign Tells The Stories Of New Australians, With Multilingual Content Offerings To Assist Migrants
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

SBS Audio Campaign Tells The Stories Of New Australians, With Multilingual Content Offerings To Assist Migrants

SBS Audio has launched a new marketing campaign for its ‘Australia Explained’ service which supports new migrants to successfully navigate life in Australia and achieve a greater sense of belonging and social cohesion. SBS’s flagship service for new migrants, Australia explained, has launched a multi-platform marketing campaign that reaches into the heart of the migrant […]

Tracker App Launches, Promising Consumers A Read On Brand’s & Products Sustainability Chops
  • Advertising

Tracker App Launches, Promising Consumers A Read On Brand’s & Products Sustainability Chops

Shoppers can now get access to sustainability information at their fingertips through Tracker, a first-of-its-kind mobile app. The Tracker app centralises sustainability data into a single, easy-to-understand format, helping shoppers make informed choices about the brands and products they support. Shoppers can simply scan the barcode of their favourite supermarket, chemist or department store item […]