Though the extent of cord-cutting is debatable, and research spun in every direction from companies with vested interests, there is no doubt that North Americans are getting their video content from more varied sources than ever.
As a result, advertisers have taken to multiple platforms in order to access the same audience that used to schedule its video consumption time for CSI on CBS at 6, and Corner Gas on CTV at 8. More advertising dollars are spent in television than any other medium, but digital is growing at a rapid pace, leading to the desire for a more comparable measurement system across platforms.
It looks like we’re reaching that point as many online video platforms move towards the adoption of television’s standard Gross Ratings Point, widely abbreviated as GRP. It’s unknown what standard the industry will ultimately settle on, as other platforms stick with impression-based measurement.
Video advertising platform TubeMogul recently introduced the digital GRP as a means of reaching audiences, alongside the more common impression-based measurements.
TubeMogul offered this definition for GRP:
The GRP represents a combination of reach and frequency, measured according to the households reached by an advertisement versus the total targeted population.
For their TubeMogul defined their digital GRP as follows:
A unit of measurement that represents the percentage of online viewers reached within a total targeted audience population (e.g. Females 18–34 in Toronto) multiplied by the number of times they were reached.
Stuart MacDougall of SourceKnowledge.
Stuart MacDougall, CTO at video advertising platform SourceKnowledge, said he believes that web metrics will allows greater personalization of online ads and will win out over TV-style metrics.
“I think ultimately the accuracy and precision of web metrics and targeting will displace GRP-type buying in a lot of cases, but there may be room for both,” he said. Right now, several video advertising players are hedging their bets and making their platforms more attractive to TV-focused media buyers by offering both GRP and impressions, or creating a hybrid metric.
Nielsen announced in September 2013 that it had signed on several agencies and publishers (including TubeMogul) to use its Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) which “measures the audience of online ad campaigns with TV-comparable metrics,” to use their words.
In 2012, Comscore launched a multi-platform campaign delivery validation system called ‘validated Campaign Essentials™ Multi-Platform’ that provides audience insights across platforms, including GRP data across platforms.
The industry doesn’t appear to be at a crossroads, as much at a point of experimentation, incorporating elements of an older technology in order to ease the transition to a new form of advertising.