White Paper Download: Multiscreen TV Ratings & Measurement

The TV industry has been talking about the challenges of counting all TV viewing for years, whether it happens on digital devices or via traditional linear. Today, major advancements in measurement have allowed TV providers to address this measurement challenge and pave the way to generating more ad revenue from multiscreen, streaming TV.

In a new white paper called “Digital Measurement for Streaming TV,” we have summarized two popular approaches to TV ratings and measurement for content delivered over IP. The paper covers how you can use video technology and digital measurement systems to:

  1. Measure streaming TV via traditional ratings while delivering ads just as they are delivered on traditional TV.
  2. Measure streaming TV via digital ratings compatible with delivering digital video ads using dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technology.

Using one or both of these measurement options will provide you with a holistic method of rating and monetizing TV programming on any screen.

Download the white paper. 

Multiscreen TV Advertising: Rethinking the Way We Transact and Measure

A panel discussion about multiscreen TV advertising at Adobe Summit

Adobe Primetime recently hosted a panel discussion at Adobe Summit about how media buyers and sellers transact and measure multiscreen TV advertising. The discussion provided an insider’s view of hot topics like attribution, business models, addressable advertising, and data ownership.

The discussion featured:

Josh Newman, Senior Vice President of Advanced Ad Systems at Fox Networks Group
Jonathan Bokor, Senior Vice President, Director of Precision Video at Publicis Media
Adam Lowy, GM, Advanced TV DISH & Sling TV

You can listen to the discussion here. Our top 6 takeaways:

1. Demand is accelerating for flexible methods of transacting.

TV boasts more channels, more programs, and more modes of access than ever before. Some audiences tune in via satellite TV, some via cable TV, and some via streaming TV across a huge range of devices. In response to this variety, advertisers are structuring their buys in more flexible, data-driven ways to ensure campaigns are reaching “fractionalized” audiences. Underscoring this point, Bokor says, “In TV, we’ve always bought audience. A demo is an audience. The issue is, how do we get more granular? …how do we get more precise than the age/sex demo, which is a 50- to 60-year-old concept. It’s time to move beyond that. The old reason why you bought an age/sex demo to get high reach efficiently, it’s harder to get that same reach, and it’s more expensive”.

2. The business model for multiscreen TV will continue to evolve.

The evolving business model for multiscreen TV has to address the interests of consumers, advertisers, and TV providers. Consumers always want fewer ads. Advertisers always want a better return on ad spend. TV providers and content programmers always want to grow revenue. Bokor has a pretty clear idea of what it will take to achieve these objectives. It will take capabilities like precision targeting, frequency control, and attribution. And, it involves some enhanced technical capabilities, too. Bokor says, “We would be willing to support greater rates if you give us some of the things that we want – impression by impression buying with passback, being able to bump up an ID against our DMP [data management platform], decide whether or not we want that impression, precision target the audience that we want, frequency control, things like that – then it’s a conversation.”

With greater precision and higher rates, comes a decrease in ad loads and an improved viewer experience. In each scenario, experimentation has a significant role to play. For example, Newman thinks there may be ways to capitalize on consumers’ binging behavior, as viewers are highly engaged when they watch five episodes a day. Or branded content could play a bigger role. Lowy says, “You’re going to see a lot more different ways to bring in money within content itself. So you have to be very careful of what that does to the content because somewhere, some way, the revenue has to come in, and that’s a dance that you have to look at as you move on.”

3. Advertisers want to measure frequency, reach, and attribution among individuals, not devices.

Digital, IP-based platforms have the greatest potential to give advertisers what they want, which is the ability to measure the frequency, reach, and attribution of TV advertising across individuals, not devices. Clearly, advertisers don’t want to measure one person as if they were three people, just because the person uses three devices. This distorts all the measurements that the advertiser cares about. Instead, advertisers want to connect all TV viewing for each individual to a single user profile and only then measure the effectiveness of TV advertising. This can be done for streaming TV, for example, with device graph technology that can connect a smartphone ID, tablet ID, and OTT device ID to a single anonymous profile. Bokor says, “That really gives us the possibility to get that cross-platform reach, frequency, and attribution in a much cleaner way and in a census way, as opposed to a panel way. I think it’s going to be more accurate, and that, to me, is sort of the holy grail.”

4. The new OpenAP ad targeting platform by Fox, Turner and Viacom helps solve for fragmented media inventory, but not addressable advertising, and serves as a sign that data ownership will be under the microscope.

OpenAP helps solve for fragmentation because it allows advertisers to define audience segments and do index buying across inventory that would normally exist in silos. Newman says that this “creates a pool that can reach targetable television audiences at scale.”

Index buying at scale is a step in the right direction, but it’s not addressable advertising. With index buying, advertisers identify and purchase shows that index well for a specific audience. In contrast, with addressable advertising, advertisers identify and purchase impressions to reach only those people in their target audience. Lowy says that index buying is “a different way to target advertising, not as rich as, obviously, addressable or audience-based targeting.”

It will take significant collaboration between programmers, distributors, and networks to do addressable linear TV advertising at scale. This suggests that data will be a point of negotiation in new carriage deals. Lowy says, “There is more time and effort in those negotiations, discussions about over the top, TV Everywhere, and other methods. All these things have been added into the discussions now that weren’t in seven years ago, five years ago.”

5. Spending on multiscreen TV advertising depends heavily on the ability to measure results.

Media buyers want to know if multiscreen TV ads are driving return on ad spend. This task is largely in the hands of advertisers because they are in the best position to define and measure the key performance indicators of their business. Bokor says, “The reality is that it depends on the brand, what their key performance indicators are, what their goals are, and what data is available. There is no magic bullet.”

Media sellers want to provide the metrics that unlock the spending. This is difficult because it requires identifying a metric that’s meaningful to all buyers and that’s technically feasible to track. Newman says, “Technical complexity and thinking about whether the metrics actually serve the best interests of everybody in the ecosystem, I think, are two other issues from a measurement standpoint.”

6. Streaming TV belongs on big screens and should be supported by ads.

Consumers have more control over the TV viewing experience than ever before. With this control, they tend to favor big screens over small screens. For example, 80-85 percent of Sling TV ads are being run on the OTT platforms through Chromecast, Roku or Apple TV. Bokor says, “if you look at time spent, OTT, or over the top, it’s already quite significant. From what I’m seeing, when you’re talking about episodic TV content, half hour or hour shows and movies, the vast majority of the viewing is on the large TV screen, not on a desktop, not on a mobile. Hulu is the bellwether. Hulu’s views, 75 percent are on a TV. So, I think what you’re going to see is that the viewing on IP-based streaming of long-form content is going to continue to be on a television.”

Some effort may be required to get consumers to favor ad-supported content over paid content. With downloads and Netflix viewing of prior seasons, you can have a show where a relatively low percent of the current viewing is ad supported, according to Newman. Considering this, he says, “The collective distributor, advertiser, agency, publisher ecosystem needs to think about how we maintain, and work creatively together, to maintain the TV model, whatever it is. It’s engaged viewing in an ad supported basis, and people are not having to pay for it incrementally.”

Conclusion

In short, digital TV advertising offers significantly more control than traditional TV advertising. The content and screens may ultimately look very similar, but the underlying technology is dramatically better in a digital environment for areas like targeting, attribution and yield management. This calls for a dramatic improvement in how media sellers package and price TV audiences and content, which Adobe is doubling down on for TV publishers with TV Media Management (TVMM). For a quick overview of TVMM, check out this video:

Adobe Report: TV Everywhere Thrives on Every Device

Adobe Digital Insights 2017

20.5% of all cable TV households are actively using TV Everywhere (TVE), according to the latest State of Digital Video Report by Adobe Digital Insights (ADI).

This increase in video viewing is spread more evenly across devices than ever before.

Share of TVE Video Starts by Access Type

In 2015, if a TV provider had to ignore one platform, the video viewing data would have pointed to the TV connected device (TVCD). However, between 2016 and 2017, TVCDs surpassed desktop devices in share of TVE video starts. And, TVCD is the only device type with accelerating year-over-year (YoY) growth.

Today, if a TV provider had to deprioritize one platform, the data would point to the desktop browser. However, at 22% of TV Everywhere video starts, the desktop remains a critical screen for digital video distribution.

The streaming TV business is a cross-device business

For the foreseeable future, streaming TV providers will continue to face the challenge of optimizing their content to mobile devices, TVCDs, and desktop browsers.

There are some pronounced differences between these platforms that add to the challenge.

1. Video junkies are on the move. 24% of TV Everywhere accounts accessed from a smartphone are viewing the majority of the videos from 3 or more locations. So, the heaviest users of smartphone video are consuming content while they are out and about.

Smartphone Share of TVE Usage by Location

2. Millennials are keen on mobile video consumption. 75% of millennials watch TV or movies at least once a month on mobile devices while only 54% of older generations share the same viewing habits.

How Frequently Do You Watch TV/Movies on a Mobile Device?

3. Consumers are very selective on smartphones. Unauthenticated video starts per visit have decreased by 31% on smartphones and 23% on desktop since 2014. This trend clearly illustrates that consumers’ time on a smartphone is very precious, with smartphone users starting 42% fewer videos per visit than desktop viewers.

Online Content Video Starts Per Visit

4. TVCDs lead TVE growth for video starts. TVCDs grew by 349% over the past two years and is the only segment whose growth continues to accelerate. Both mobile (phone / tablet) and browser video starts grew at less than 20% YoY after stronger gains the year before.

TVE YOY Video Start Growth by Access Type

5. The cost of TVCD video ads increased at nearly twice the rate of TV spots. CPMs for video ads are growing at a higher rate than the costs of traditional TV, mobile search and display ads. Only the cost of Super Bowl advertising has grown at a higher rate since 2014.

Cost of Advertising Increase from 2014 to 2016

The TV Everywhere model is gaining traction

These video consumption trends favor ad-supported TVE providers. As consumption increases on TVCDs, these providers will have more ad inventory on the biggest screens in the household. And, as mobile consumption increases, media companies will have more ad inventory on the most personal device that consumers carry with them. Combine that with the fact that the cost of video ads continues to accelerate, and the future looks bright for TVE.

Ooyala Taps the Power of Adobe Experience Cloud

A man watches a major broadcasting event

Adobe has powered the digital delivery of some of the biggest broadcast events in history. Through Adobe Primetime and the Adobe Experience Cloud, the largest media companies are able to deliver video content at scale, monetize audiences effectively through video advertising and leverage data to personalize the overall viewer experience.

Ooyala, a global provider of video monetization technology and services, announced today that they are tapping into Adobe Primetime capabilities for cross-device video playback and monetization. This will enable media companies of any size and in any region, to take advantage of the most reliable and scalable broadcast technology used by Turner, Comcast, NBC Sports, Disney and others for delivering great video experiences across any screen.

More than ever, it’s critical for media companies to get this right. The advancements of mobile and TV connected devices have pushed video to the forefront. A recent survey from Deloitte finds that binge-watching is becoming the norm: 73% of U.S. consumers claim to binge-watch and nearly 90% of Millenials and Gen Z say the same, with almost 40% doing so weekly. The way in which audiences are consuming video is shifting as well. In the State of Digital Video report from Adobe Digital Insights, TV Everywhere video starts increased 102% in two years. It’s clear that audiences are consuming more video, but viewers are also fragmented across devices and have increasingly high expectations for quality and personalization.

The pace in which digital viewers are shifting their consumption habits will continue to accelerate, especially with trends like mobile-first giving way to mobile only and the rise of TV returning to the living room via devices like Roku and Apple TV. Media companies have found that the new battleground for consumer mindshare increasingly rests on great experiences that are engaging and relevant. Especially in a booming area like video, maintaining the status quo will no longer be enough. Adobe and Ooyala are here to help.

Making the Transition to HTML5 Video with Adobe Primetime

Transition to HTML5

Streaming TV providers face a big challenge: transitioning from Flash to HTML5 to reach as many screens as possible.

At Adobe, we understand this challenge. We’ve helped major media companies transition successfully to HTML5, and have a long history of delivering quality, reliability, and performance at scale. We ensure that even companies with the most sophisticated requirements can deliver HTML5 video everywhere it runs, including mobile and web browsers, as well as apps on Android, iOS, Smart TVs and connected TV devices such as Chromecast and Amazon Fire.

To help media companies migrate from Flash to HTML5, we’ve developed The Ultimate Technical Guide for the Flash-to-HTML5 Transition.

  • Part 1 addresses HTML5 basics, including how HTML5 video evolved from a basic industry standard with limited usefulness for broadcasters, to a mature stack that now addresses premium TV use cases.
  • Part 2 covers HTML5 security, including why we need DRM in HTML5 and the fundamentals of how it works.
  • Part 3 discusses HTML5 deployment best practices for multi-DRM, ad insertion, and cross-device optimizations.

Here, in Part 4, we conclude with eight ways that Adobe can help smooth the transition to HTML5 video.

1. Leverage the technical optimizations of an established video technology platform

If you go down the path of building your own HTML5 video player, you’ll quickly realize that solving for the problem of fragmentation across browsers, devices, and platforms is not the best use your developers’ time.

Adobe Primetime increases developer productivity by 59% by handling browser, device, and platform optimizations for you. It includes a smart heuristic engine that understands the capabilities of each playback environment and makes any adjustments needed to provide a seamless consumer experience. Primetime provides advanced streaming TV features, including hosted multi-DRM, ad insertion, a flexible UI framework, and analytics that work everywhere your viewers watch your content.

2. Get to market faster with an advanced UI framework

Our customers deploy rich, engaging viewer experiences quickly because Adobe Primetime includes a flexible UI framework that can be modified based on your needs. It supports advanced UI features such as multi-view, picture-in-picture, multi-language, and closed captions.

Advanced UI Framework

The Primetime UI framework also includes advanced advertising features to support seamless pre-, mid-, and post-rolls, VPAID ads, and advanced integrations with a broad range of rich media formats.

3. Solve for ad insertion into DRM-protected content

Adobe Primetime is addressing the challenge of ad insertion into protected content by supporting DRM and ad insertion in the player natively. Adobe Primetime can be used to insert ads into MPEG-DASH CENC and encrypted HLS streams, which addresses the majority of HTML5-compliant browsers. With Adobe Primetime, ad insertion into DASH content is handled almost exactly the same as ad insertion into HLS content. For example, creative repackaging and ad rules work for DASH just like they work for HLS, and Adobe Primetime manages the complexity of the nuanced differences between HLS and DASH.

Adobe Primetime will also be able to insert ads into DRM-protected DASH or HLS streams within the Common Media Application Format (CMAF) container format. CMAF is bringing the industry close to a truly unified DRM-protected format. CMAF has been designed to allow fMP4 segments used with MPEG-DASH to coexist with HLS, rather than competing with or supplanting HLS. Our white paper on CMAF covers this topic in more detail.

4. Drive revenue with viewability and advanced advertising integrations

Adobe Primetime works with its customers to enable the viewability and advanced advertising integrations that help drive ad revenue. Many of our customers request viewability integrations with companies like Moat because viewability data helps them optimize for viewability and sell their inventory at higher CPMs.

Other capabilities that we support include HTML5 VPAID advertising and other rich media formats. HTML5 VPAID support is a must-have for ad-supported streaming TV providers following on the heels of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)’s recommendation to eliminate Flash video ads by July 2017. Adobe Primetime fully supports HTML5 VPAID and Adobe participates actively in the IAB working group driving digital video technical standards. With a browser TVSDK and a native TVSDK for iOS and Android apps, Adobe Primetime provides companies that rely on VPAID with the tools needed to run ads on as many screens as possible.

5. Benefit from streaming video optimizations without doing any of the work

Adobe Primetime continuously works to reduce live latency, improve video startup times, and provide a seamless playback experience. For example, we’re currently working on delay-free live streaming with HTTP/2. We’ve successfully built innovations into our platform like Instant On, which reduces startup time to half a second or less. We’ve also built smart algorithms into our platform, including bitrate stabilization switching for unstable network connections. This work ensures that Adobe Primetime customers get the benefit of streaming video optimizations without allocating developer resources.

6. Use the measurement solutions that are the best for your business

Media companies and advertisers have suffered from a lack of standardized measurement for streaming TV since about 2010, when consumer demand for streaming really started to pick up. This lack of measurement has now been largely solved through innovations from Adobe, Nielsen, and comScore.

There are two ways to measure streaming TV today: via traditional or digital ratings. You’ll soon be able to read about these options and the products that make them possible in our upcoming “Digital Measurement for Streaming TV” white paper.

Regardless of which measurement option is utilized, there are two primary reasons why implementation is easier for Adobe’s media customers. First, Adobe Analytics for Video has released Adobe Certified Metrics, the now standard, certified video implementation through the Adobe SDK that can be used as the census input to audience measurement partners. This SDK fully integrates comScore and Nielsen measurement through the video enablement implementation stage in Adobe Analytics. Second, the Adobe Primetime TVSDK is pre-integrated to fully support the Adobe Certified Metrics SDK. With this, video measurement is enabled by configuration rather than code.

7. Boost viewer engagement with Adobe Primetime recommendations

Adobe Primetime customers can use viewing data from Adobe Analytics to offer personalized video recommendations to each viewer. This is done with Adobe Primetime recommendations, which helps streaming TV providers boost engagement.

Adobe Primetime recommendations has four key advantages. First, it makes the most relevant video recommendations for each viewer using a massive data repository and multiple industry-leading personalization algorithms. Second, it continuously optimizes the recommendations through the use of A/B and multivariate testing. Third, it provides an instant playback experience by telling the Adobe Primetime TVSDK which recommended videos to preload with Instant On. Fourth, it addresses the “cold-start” challenge by using existing analytics data to provide relevant recommendations when a user first engages with video content.

8. Maintain the broadest reach with a Flash fallback solution

HTML5 is the preferred video playback option for modern browsers, devices, and platforms, and all major desktop browsers have announced plans to default to HTML5 media playback, according to the IAB. However, consumers will continue to use legacy browsers that do not support HTML5 video for some time.

In legacy environments, Adobe Primetime customers benefit from our Flash video fallback solution. By delivering HTML5 video wherever possible and then reverting to Flash video everywhere else, Adobe Primetime provides the greatest possible reach in modern and legacy environments while supporting the same feature set across our HTML5 and Flash fallback solutions.

A smooth transition to HTML5 video with Adobe Primetime

If you’re leading an organization through its transition from Flash to HTML5, choose a path that allows you to move quickly and effectively. Adobe has anticipated and solved the challenges involved with the transition to HTML5, and we look forward to continuing to help industry participants adapt the latest and most robust open technology standards.

Must-See Media & Entertainment Sessions at Adobe Summit

Media & Entertainment Sessions at Adobe Summit

Adobe Summit is just around the corner. This year’s digital marketing conference will host over 12 thousand marketing and analytics professionals who will learn how to better understand their customers and create digital experiences that matter. Here are the event details:

What: Adobe Summit
Where: The Venetian, Las Vegas
When: March 19 – 23

For attendees in the Media & Entertainment industry, Adobe Primetime will be hosting three sessions featuring thought leaders and best practices for engaging and monetizing digital TV audiences. Please join us for these sessions:

  1. Multiscreen TV advertising: Rethinking the way we transact and measure
    Wednesday, March 22nd 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

    The convergence of audience-based advertising across linear and digital TV represents a $94B market opportunity. In order to maximize ad value & efficacy across screens, we’ll need a common approach to audience-based transactions that is enriched by data and viewer-level measurement. In this discussion, we address three core tenets that media buyers and media sellers must understand to achieve maximum ROI: Measurement, Identity and Reach.

    This will be a panel discussion featuring:

    Josh Newman, Senior Vice President of Advanced Ad Systems at Fox Networks Group
    Jonathan Bokor, Senior Vice President, Director of Precision Video at Publicis Media
    Moderator: Art Mimnaugh, Head of Business Development – Advanced Advertising, Adobe Primetime

  2. The era of personalized TV is here
    Thursday, March 23rd 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Viewers have come to expect a personalized and holistic TV experience, whether they’re watching in the living room or on their mobile phone. To meet this new standard, media companies must use data to deliver the right content at the right time. Hear how to increase viewer engagement and better monetize audiences with video recommendations, automated personalization, and A/B testing.

  3. Media & Entertainment Super Session: Transforming digital content and advertising experiences across all channels
    Thursday, March 23rd 9:00 am – 10:30 am

    As part of a super session about the Media and Entertainment industry’s digital transformation, Adobe’s Jeremy Helfand, Vice President, Media & Entertainment Industry Solutions, will be hosting a keynote chat with Eric Black, CTO, NBC Sports Digital & Playmaker Media. The discussion will focus on the evolution of digital TV and how NBC Sports and Playmaker Media are redefining live digital coverage of global sporting events.

    Eric will be sharing his experiences and predictions with the audience including when he first realized how significant live streaming was going to be for NBC Sports and how he would describe the evolution we are in now.

If you’re going to Adobe Summit, we hope you catch these sessions, explore the latest tools and trends, hear from marketing innovators, and see how other companies like yours are using Adobe Marketing Cloud. To learn more about the full agenda for Media & Entertainment professionals, visit summit.adobe.com/na/sessions/industry-sessions/.

Research: Adobe Primetime’s Video Platform Lifts ROI by 385%

Major media companies across the globe have chosen Adobe Primetime for their multiscreen TV and video platform. They made this decision because Adobe Primetime allows them to quickly deploy engaging video experiences that are easy for their developers to customize and easy for their IT teams to support.

To fully quantify this value, Adobe commissioned IDC, a global market intelligence firm that helps customers make fact-based decisions on their technology purchases, to independently interview Adobe Primetime customers about the value they are getting out of the platform.

The research findings about the value of Adobe Primetime include:

  • 385% five-year ROI

  • 24% increase in engagement rates

  • 59% less developer time required to deliver an OTT service
Adobe Primetime delivers these benefits by making it easy for media companies to deploy multi-screen TV and video experiences. For example, Adobe Primetime provides a TVSDK that achieves high-quality playback across devices at scale, dynamic ad insertion for the most targeted ad experiences with no buffering, multi-DRM for content protection across devices, and integration with Adobe’s Marketing Cloud to accelerate acquisition and foster engagement.

The infographic below provides a visual snapshot of IDC’s research. To get the full white paper with these results, sponsored by Adobe, fill out the request form here.

IDC measures the business value of Adobe Primetime at $3.7M per customer organization.

Impact of Linear Streaming on OTT and TVE Monetization in 2017

Man watching linear streaming TV on his laptop

As consumers spend more time with new streaming TV services, we could see digital video begin to approach the time spent levels of linear TV. According to eMarketer, the average time spent with digital video will reach about 30% that of linear TV this year, with the average adult consuming 72 minutes of digital video versus 241 minutes of linear TV per day. However, if one or two linear streaming services thrive, we think this could go closer to 50%.

The growing popularity of digital TV consumption will also heat up the digital video advertising market in 2017. Expect to see increasing innovation and scale in the market. And, expect things to get easier for media companies that want to measure and sell digital video advertising the same way they measure and sell linear TV advertising — the long-awaited convergence may finally arrive.

Continued expansion of digital video

In 2017, expanded offerings from key industry players like YouTube could significantly boost the popularity of streaming video services. This report from the Associated Press states that the dam appears to be finally cracking for even better content to come to YouTube. Combine this insight with the fact that YouTube has an audience it can upsell to of over 187 million US viewers.

These form the building blocks that will provide advertisers with access to an explosion of premium video inventory. Other industry players like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, Hulu, and PlayStation Vue have their own building blocks in place as well. Consumers will begin to associate connected devices with tune-in digital linear viewing — traditional, scheduled episodic or live programming delivered over IP — and not just on-demand viewing.

Forrester analyst Brandon Verblow provides a good summary of the ad-supported linear streaming video trend and encourages the industry not to just reproduce the exact traditional linear TV viewing experience on digital devices. Instead, he recommends, “Going forward, it will be important to track innovations such as audience-based buying, whether ads are targeted to specific users, or whether ads are interactive. These are the factors that have the potential to generate incremental value and the ones that should really matter to advertisers and content providers.”

A new king of ad formats?

Major advertisers have found that TV ads deliver better ROI compared with digital. For instance, Coca-Cola’s global chief marketing officer, Marcos de Quinto, told attendees of a recent beverage industry conference that, in 2014, his company returned $2.13 for every dollar spent on TV versus $1.26 for every dollar spent in digital.

Could 2017 be the year that media companies and advertisers figure out how to improve upon the linear TV ad in digital environments? There’s a real opportunity here to provide the same brand recall that advertisers get from traditional linear TV while enhancing advertising performance with the type of audience-based targeting that advertisers use within digital. If the advertising industry fuses the best qualities of the TV ad with the addressability of the digital at scale, it could be looking at a new king of ad formats — targeted, dynamic video ads in TV-quality streaming video environments.

Greater confidence in cross-channel measurement

Things are looking up for publishers and advertisers that want to transact using metrics that account for digital and traditional viewing behaviors. Some are going their own route to create their own metric, while others are leveraging established players.

NBC Universal is already transacting on a cross-platform metric they call the cumulative P-2 plus rating. An AdAge article about the rating quotes Dan Lovinger, exec VP of advertising sales, “Given the dynamic shifts in viewing from one platform to another, we wanted to create a system that allows us to pivot from one platform to the other in real time. P2+ allows us to pivot an advertiser to where that consumption is taking place.”

Also, Nielsen has received accreditation from the Media Rating Council for its Digital in TV Ratings solution, according to Adweek. This gives media companies and advertisers more confidence to transact with C3 and C7 ratings that now incorporate digital consumption of linear streams in addition to traditional consumption of linear TV.

Questions for media companies

These trends in OTT and TVE monetization spark a couple questions for media companies to consider in 2017. First, how are you thinking of monetizing streaming TV? Second, what are you doing to make your video advertising better than traditional TV advertising? Third, will you include digital views in linear ratings or pursue a different measurement and monetization strategy? Tune in to learn more from subsequent blogs on how Adobe Primetime and the rest of the Marketing Cloud could help address your challenges.

The True Costs of “Free” HTML5 Video Players

What is the true cost of using a free HTML video player?

HTML5 is a front-end, cross-platform technology with a growing footprint across devices. Over half of the top 1 million websites use HTML5, according to BuiltWith. And, 66% of mobile developers use HTML5, according to VisionMobile. Plus, many consumer electronics manufacturers are including support for HTML5 in devices such as connected TVs and game consoles.

This makes HTML5 a useful technology for media and entertainment (M&E) companies that want to extend video content out to the largest number of consumers on the most possible devices.

The first step for any transition to HTML5 involves deciding which player technology to use. Can you use a free HTML5 video player? Or, do you require more robust, premium HTML5 player technology?

When making this decision, it helps to know some of the pitfalls of the free option. Here are eight of the most common pitfalls:

  1. More customization work – Browsers right now do not implement HTML5 in the same way. As a result, it takes custom work to get free HTML5 player technology working across all the different browser implementations. Adobe Primetime has already done this work for you. Its HTML5 player framework includes a smart heuristic engine that understands the capabilities of each browser and makes any adjustments needed to provide the same experience across devices. It can also fallback to leverage Flash if an HTML5 implementation can’t support the intended experience.
  2. Longer time to market – When using free HTML5 player technology, the customization work mentioned above will have to be done with every new device you want to reach that comes to market supporting HTML5. Developing and testing this work will slow your time to market. In contrast, reaching new devices with Adobe Primetime’s HTML5 player framework is fast and easy because the APIs are always the same. Developers work with familiar APIs and can apply an existing, automated testing framework. This speeds time to market for Adobe Primetime customers.
  3. Harder to protect content – Free HTML5 technology makes it difficult to do content protection in a uniform way across browsers because each browser supports content protection specifications like the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) specification to a varying degree of maturity. This introduces more custom work to get free HTML5 player technology to deliver protected content across devices. Adobe Primetime supports a multi-DRM solution, which can automatically deliver protected content with the best type of DRM protection for each device.
  4. Lack of monetization capabilities – Free player technology does not include ad insertion by default. Adobe Primetime includes ad insertion with its HTML5 player framework, which enables the seamless delivery of personalized pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads into a TV-like experience.
  5. Less stable streaming – Wired and wireless networks aren’t as stable as internet users would like them to be. Connections can slow down and speed up. Free HTML5 player technology does not provide a way to optimally select the right bitrate for playback. When a viewer is on an unstable connection, the free technology may switch the bitrate up and down, again and again, until the connection stabilizes. Adobe Primetime avoids this by using an algorithm to stabilize the bitrate switching. This allows for a better user experience compared to when using free HTML5 player technology.
  6. Choppy fast forward and rewind – All too often, free HTML5 player technology provides a poor user experience for fast forwarding and rewinding video content. The viewer may see an image, then nothing, then another image, making it hard to find the right spot to return to playback. Adobe Primetime provides the opposite experience. It provides a fast forward and rewind experience that’s as smooth as the playback experience.
  7. Basic captioning – Free HTML5 player technology provides very basic captioning, which may not meet the closed caption regulations in the United States. Adobe Primetime meets all the regulations by using 608 over 708 and WebVTT caption formats that allow for robust closed captioning support across devices. Further details on this are available in Adobe Primetime’s “Introduction to Closed Captions” technical paper.
  8. Harder to integrate analytics and measurement – It takes custom work to get analytics and measurement working with free HTML5 player technology. In contrast, Adobe Primetime offers out-of-the-box integration with Adobe Analytics and leading measurement companies. The integration is quick, easy, and accurate.

Each of these pitfalls of free HTML5 player technology costs you time or money to solve. So, free isn’t really free after all. The better path is to move quickly with robust, premium HTML5 player technology, like Adobe Primetime’s HTML5 player framework. This will allow you to deploy engaging, measurable, HTML5 video experiences quickly across a large and growing number of browsers and devices. Rather than fighting against the pitfalls yourself, you can benefit from a solution that already solves for them.

‘Tis the Season: Marketers, Multiscreen & Monetization

This holiday season, as smart TVs, smartphones and streaming media devices fly off the shelves, it’s clear that consumers are watching their favorite TV shows where, when, and how they want. That’s a pretty nice development for TV fans. But this shift in viewing patterns offers advertisers the biggest gift of all.

As viewers transition from set top boxes to screens of all shapes and sizes, the ability to transact and measure multiscreen TV ad inventory is rapidly improving. For marketers, that means cross-platform TV campaigns are more likely to reach their intended audiences. In fact, Turner made a bold claim recently when it promised that, “by 2020 more than 50% of its inventory would be transacted against audience guarantees.”

“By leveraging data and analytics, we can make advertising more relevant for a consumer and ultimately more effective and efficient for our agency and advertising partners,” said Dan Aversano, SVP of ad innovation and programmatic solutions for Turner.

The technology that enables this new frontier of addressable TV is evolving quickly. For example, Adobe Primetime provides a TV ad planning and yield optimization platform that monetizes multiscreen TV, which is described in the video below.

With this technology, when it comes to transacting, direct sales teams still hold the key to premium ad placements. This was true for traditional linear TV and will remain true in digital.

Underscoring this point, publishers of premium video content are working to enable private, direct, audience-based media sales that are enriched by data and viewer-level measurement. Stephano Kim, EVP Digital Strategy and Operations at Turner Broadcasting told AdExchanger, “It used to be that back in the day, your content used to be a proxy for your audience. If someone viewed your content, the content was deemed relevant to those people. But now that you have so many different modalities of how your content is consumed, it’s changed everything.”

As broadcasters begin to realize their vision for addressable media sales, advertisers will have unprecedented control over how they reach TV viewers across a vast array of devices and platforms. Let’s consider a few examples:

Improving multiscreen addressability

Advertisers are always looking to reach more consumers with targeted, personalized offers. Instead of using TV content as a proxy for viewers, audience-based buying provides an effective mechanism for marketers to reach their desired segments, via multiscreen campaigns. With the advent of new sell-side technologies, publishers can now leverage data to match individual viewers with specific ad slots across every screen. In turn, advertisers can match specific campaigns to these audiences and see their ad effectiveness double and even triple.

Buying audiences + content across multiple screens

Executing campaigns for specific audiences, during specific TV shows, may be the most effective way for advertisers to ensure their message resonates while viewers are immersed in their favorite shows. Historically, publishers have faced a unique set of challenges in making this hybrid inventory available. Today, however, media sellers have access to cross-platform tools to forecast ad inventory at the impression level for both audience and content criteria. This means that marketers looking to advertise to a particular audience segment, such as recent iPhone purchasers, who are watching a particular show, such as Empire, can do so without the risk of over- or under-selling.


In the past, inventory forecasting for such a scenario would yield an average accuracy of less than 50%. As a result, advertisers would achieve less reach than desired, and rely on negotiating “make goods” to recoup their investments. Now, publishers have access to features that help them recognize and forecast overlapping inventory, and marketers can expect a nearly 2X increase in on-target delivery.

Measuring with your preferred currency

Transacting with audience guarantees, as measured by Nielsen or Comscore, has surfaced a number of challenges with the growth of streaming. These challenges include:

  • Broad audience definitions. A 25-49 year old male represents a very broad set of behaviors and buying patterns.
  • Panel-based measurement. These small, representative samples are often at odds with buyers’ and sellers’ ability to measure at the impression level.
  • Data lag. Nielsen data is only available after a 48 hour delay, meaning campaigns delivered to the wrong audiences may not be remedied as quickly as desired.
Marketers are now able to buy and measure multiscreen TV inventory through an addressable, data-enriched approach. While the challenges outlined have historically limited the effectiveness of multiscreen measurement, advertisers are now able to measure campaigns like a digital video ad, applying Nielsen or comScore methodologies to their campaigns alongside a host of complementary, audience-based data sets.


Measurement flexibility is key. Turner SVP of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions Dan Aversano said, “We all have to abandon this idea of a single currency. At Turner, we’ve put a stake in the ground that we are data-agnostic, meaning when we’re cutting specific audience deals, we use many different data sets: viewership, behavioral, attitudinal, psychographic and emotional data sets, and those get linked together.”

Of course, major media sellers remain focused on the user experience above all else. Joe Marchese, President, Advanced Advertising, Fox Networks Group says, “If we can move to a world where we can do guaranteed attention, fewer ads, interactive ads, immersive ads, we could raise the rate and we could move the conversation from a battle between content creators and marketers about lower, lower, lower rates and saying no it’s about guaranteeing proper human attention, the right audience, someone who’s actually in market for goods and services, and a great experience overall.”