The Evolution of an Online Audience Currency

As I’ve touched upon in previous posts, the online advertising space has yet to see the development of a single, mutually agreed-upon currency along the same lines of what we have in television with the C3 rating.  We might finally see such a currency emerging in the wake of Unilever’s just-announced agreement with Nielsen to use their Online Campaign Ratings for all of their online advertising buys in the U.S.


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Posted in Currencies, Nielsen, Online Audiences | 2 Comments

The Evolution of Political Audience Analysis

A number of years ago I started (but eventually abandoned, for reasons I can’t remember) a project examining the dynamics of political media buying.  One of the consistent themes that emerged in the early stages of this project was the extent to which political media buying was years behind commercial media buying in terms of the analytical tools and data employed.  And as a result, traditional media channels (e.g., broadcast television) were relied upon far more extensively than more targeted, and presumably more efficient, channels such as local cable and the internet.

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Posted in Data, Online Audiences, Television | 2 Comments

The Latest Strategies for Gaming the TV Ratings System

As long as there have been audience ratings, there have been efforts by content providers to manipulate those ratings by exploiting the particular dynamics of how the data are gathered and reported (I talk about this a bit in my 2003 book, Audience Economics). Last week the New York Times ran an interesting piece describing some of the current efforts by national television networks to game television ratings in the era of the C3.

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Posted in Nielsen, Television | 1 Comment

A Step Toward Multiple Television Currencies

There was an interesting little news item yesterday that, in my opinion, is quite significant.  Financial news network CNBC signed a deal with media agency MPG (on behalf of the agency’s client, Fidelity) that guarantees Fidelity certain audience delivery figures in terms of both demos and household income.  The demo guarantees are based on Nielsen People Meter data and the household income guarantees are based on Rentrak set-top box data.

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Thoughts on a Possible “Data Bubble”

I’m in the process of conducting interviews with a range of media, advertising, and audience measurement industry professionals on the changes in the field of audience measurement, and their potential implications.  And increasingly, not only through these interviews, but through associated research I’ve been consuming (such as this recent report from the Winterberry Group on “From Information to Audiences“), I’ve found myself wondering a bit if perhaps we need to consider the possibility that we’re in the midst of what might best be termed a “data bubble.” Continue reading

Posted in Data, Rationalization | 3 Comments

Latest Developments on the Set-Top Box Front

As much as I argue in Audience Evolution that we are moving toward a post-exposure audience marketplace, in which criteria such as engagement, recall, etc. are going to increasingly serve as supplementary (and in some cases, alternative) currencies to traditional exposure, it is also the case that efforts are ongoing to preserve the primacy of exposure.  Case in point — the use of digital set top boxes as an alternative to people meters.  Talk of set top boxes replacing people meters has been ongoing for years; but the past few weeks have seen some significant developments that suggest that perhaps the tipping point is close at hand.

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Social Media, Television, and the Evolution of the “Institutionally Effective” Audience

I recently had the honor of being invited to present some of my current research to the faculty and students of MIT’s program in Comparative Media Studies.  I presented some preliminary findings from my ongoing research into how various social media analytics are being utilized in the buying and selling of television audiences.  It’s a topic I’ve touched on quite a bit here, but this invitation forced me to start organizing some more coherent thoughts about the subject, and to place this ongoing process into historical perspective.

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Posted in Currencies, Engagement, Online Audiences, Television | 1 Comment