Mumbai: The burgeoning of OTT content consumption in the past couple of years fuelled a proportional increase in the demand for third-party viewership data which, in turn, led to the proliferation of tools and technology available for digital measurement. Some of the important trends and challenges that emerged as a result of these developments were discussed at the OTT Advertising and Connected TV Summit organised by Indiantelevision.com on 7 and 8 October. The two-day event was powered by Mediasmart, an Affle Company and summit partner The Q.
During the session titled ‘Plugging the gap of measurability’ the expert panel comprising of Integral Ad Science- India Country Head, VP Engineering & Operations - Mehul Desai, DoubleVerify- head of sales, India, Nachiket Deole, Synamedia- principal product manager, Advanced Advertising – Synamedia, Daniel Wohlfart, and Nielsen Media India MD, Dolly Jha shed light on why digital measurement cannot be a simple ‘plug and play' game, and the need for evolving metrics, for data sharing as well as well-thought-out measurement strategies optimised for through-the-funnel advertising. The discussion was moderated by Madison World, Madison Media Sigma CEO Vanita Keswani.
Sharing some stark facts to explain the emergence of fraud prevention as the top trend in the digital measurement space, Integral Ad Science’s Mehul Desai said, “Annually, close to 35 billion advertising dollars are lost to global ad fraud. It is the second biggest industry, after drugs, in terms of organised crime.” Daniel Wohlfart further pointed out that “almost every ad campaign in Europe comes with a built-in requirement for ad verification by third-party.”
In the Indian context where OTT measurement is in the early stages and many advertisers are starting out on their digital journeys, trends point towards increasing awareness on the issue.
At Neilsen, measuring the percentage of ad fraud is one of the deliverables on every campaign, yet “not more than 25-30 per cent of ad spends are getting measured currently,” observed Dolly Jha. She added that systematic and consistent measurement of ROIs, the technology and tools for which exist and are being implemented as well, has to be set in to scale up ad fraud prevention, attributions, data sharing, and other aspects of OTT measurement.
As Desai indicated the growing importance of brand suitability for a particular ad environment and context matching in a world where “advertising has changed from being persona and user-driven to being context-driven”, Nachiket Deole of DoubleVerify shared his understanding of marketers moving beyond traditional metrics such as CTR, VTR, CPRP, and even polls and attributions to measure the impact of consumer action in real-time – how consumers are responding to/engaging with their campaigns. “We always recommend our clients to optimise campaigns on all aspects – ad fraud, viewability, brand safety. Every single impression must pass through all three quality parameters for it to become a quality impression and deliver results.”
With the above, almost all components for evolving a third-party cross-platform digital measurement ecosystem - the demand for which is seeing a significant push from advertisers across categories, are in place, except the industry has to work around accessing, and not breaching, the Walled Gardens. Jha shared that while there has been some tight-fisting from expected quarters “the number of publishers that have come on board for measurement at Nielsen in the past nearly 18 months has been phenomenal.”
Concerted efforts are needed to sustain this extremely positive development towards the inevitable goal. “There is increasing awareness among the walled gardens and independent broadcasters/publishers of third-party cross-platform measurement as a thing that advertisers want to achieve. The unique identifiers that these broadcasters have are their most valuable asset; naturally, they want to be able to monetise as well as safeguard it. As platform providers, it is important for us to convince and enable them – through tech and tools – to buy at their own standards, because otherwise, the budgets are just not there,” Synamedia’s Wohlfart explained in his closing remarks to the session.