A New Era of TV Measurement and Currency: Here’s What You Missed at This Year’s TV Disrupt

The TV ad industry is in the midst of a radical transformation. Throughout Q1, media companies partnered with TV measurement providers, like iSpot.tv, to evaluate and implement alternative currencies ahead of this year’s upfronts. 

To help advertisers prepare for this new era of TV currency and measurement, iSpot brought together industry experts from the buy and sell side to share valuable perspectives and innovative strategies at TV Disrupt 2022. The virtual event provided a behind-the-scenes look at what it actually means to transact using alternative currency and what to expect at this year’s upfronts and beyond.

iSpot CEO and Founder, Sean Muller, set the stage covering the three key drivers of alternative currency – each of which resurfaced throughout TV Disrupt:

  1. Cross-screen: unifying measurement across all forms of TV viewing (linear, streaming, OOH)
  2. Speed: delivering real-time insights that fuel optimizations
  3. Ad-first: measuring ads independently of programs

1. Upfronts in the age of alternative currency (10:30)

To kick things off, Kelly Abcarian, EVP of Measurement & Impact at NBCUniversal, shared key findings from the 60+ alternative currency test and learns conducted with iSpot and leading holding companies. She explained what influenced NBCUniversal’s decision to make iSpot its first nationally certified measurement partner and currency (keyword: trust). Kelly emphasized that the future of TV ad measurement is here now. Advertisers don’t have to wait until 2024 to have an accurate and transparent view of their ads across platforms.

“The future is going to favor the brave and the bold….if you haven’t gotten engaged, don’t wait. The future is here. Cross-platform measurement is ready to go for those who want to lean in.”

Kelly Abcarian, EVP Measurement & Impact at NBCUniversal

2. Test and learn: alternative currency in action (35:16)

Wayfair was one of the 60+ advertisers that participated in NBCUniversal’s test and learn. Lauren Sutkowski, Head of TV and Branded Content Marketing, weighed in on the currency conversation from the buy-side perspective and shared how Wayfair was refining its strategy for this year’s upfronts. Cross-screen measurement during the test and learn helped Lauren and her team realize CTV’s true potential. In one instance, Wayfair discovered that 40% of the impressions on an (unnamed) NBCU digital platform were entirely incremental to the brand’s linear impressions. 

“At Wayfair we are constantly looking for more data and stronger measurement models to validate the efficacy of our performance. [This test and learn experience] has given us insights that we certainly did not have the opportunity to dig into beforehand.”

Lauren Sutkowski, Head of TV and Branded Content Marketing for Wayfair

3. Unlocking TV and streaming ROAS with cross-screen measurement (45:46)

Real-time, cross-screen measurement was essential for TaxAct to maximize video ad impact within a few short months. Amy Bartle, Head of Media, shed light on the brand’s cross-screen measurement strategy, including how they make conversion-based optimizations at the network and publisher level. By comparing how linear TV impressions deliver versus streaming, TaxAct was able to target specific programs and use OTT and CTV to reach new audiences. The brand also looked at creative and found that 15-second spots were more efficient at driving conversions than 30-second versions on particular networks. 

4. Shaping the future of CTV buying and measurement (58:25)

Jonathan Low, Senior Director of CTV Partnerships at The Trade Desk, discussed the past, present and future of CTV with Emily Wood, VP of Business Development at iSpot. Jonathan sees advertisers becoming even smarter with CTV buys as a result of sophisticated measurement solutions like iSpot. This in turn will create a better ecosystem for everyone, including consumers. In order to get there, advertisers need to target, optimize and measure incremental reach. Only then will they understand the value of CTV and get a true read on campaign performance.

“Leveraging solutions like iSpot to truly get the most out of data-decision buying will create a better ecosystem for everyone.”

Jonathan Low, Senior Director of CTV Partnerships at The Trade Desk

5. TV Currency of tomorrow from the network perspective (1:05:00)

Andrea Zapata, EVP/Head of Research, Data & Insights at WarnerMedia Ad Sales, and Travis Scoles, SVP of Advanced Advertising at Paramount, discussed how they’re approaching alternative measurement and gave an inside look at their collaboration during this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. From speed of insights to cross-screen measurement, innovation was on full display during the joint test and learn. Travis and Andrea both emphasized how cross-screen capabilities provided a whole new level of insight around how audiences were consuming March Madness content.

6. The DNA of Disruption: A T-Mobile Story

Mike Katz, Chief Marketing Officer, discussed T-Mobile’s unique customer-based approach to marketing that has differentiated the brand from competitors. Accurate and real-time cross-screen measurement has played an integral role in the brand’s evolution. As for the current disruption in TV currency and measurement, Katz asserted that, “the first movers are going to be the ones that win.”  

Don’t worry if you missed TV Disrupt this year. You can now stream the entire event below:

We hope to see you at next year’s TV Disrupt!