The Association of Commercial Television


Just in case we needed more evidence of the central role that advanced TV is already beginning to play in the media ecosystem, this week’s announcement of the re-merger of CBS and Viacom underscored it, big-time.

In years past, the news would have been totally dominated by the traditional measures of power: ViacomCBS is now #1 in TV audience, with a 22% share of total prime-time viewers, and boasts a combined $8 billion in national TV ad revenue.

Not exactly footnotes, to say the least.

But the companies took great pains to put the combined entity’s reach and clout into the context of the advanced TV opportunities that the merger will enable. Why? Because that’s where they see the most significant growth paths for the future.

“The first part of our strategy is accelerating growth of our D2C offering… subscription and ad-supported offerings” — meaning CBS All Access, Showtime, Pluto TV, Nickelodeon’s Noggin and the forthcoming BET+ — stressed Viacom’s Bob Bakish, who will be president and CEO of ViacomCBS.

Bakish said the new company’s strategic focus will be on advanced advertising, along with content production. “We will be the first stop for advertisers and their agencies in the U.S. because of the audience we deliver… including addressable, branded content, influencer marketing and experiential,” he elaborated.

Viacom now projects that 20% of its domestic advertising revenue will come from advanced advertising, hitting nearly $700 million in revenue this year — and this advertising’s growth will be enhanced by the combined entity’s massive TV audience, said CBS President/acting CEO Joe Ianniello, who will serve as chairman and CEO of CBS in the combined company.

Both executives emphasized opportunities in leveraging synergies between the two companies’ premium content, including between subscription-driven and advertising-driven platforms.

“There is nothing at all preventing us from moving forward in terms of beginning to unlock that opportunity in the very near future,” Bakish declared in the call with analysts. “Obviously, it’s something that we will build on over time, but there’s some low-hanging fruit there we will seek to pick quite soon.”

One example: CBS announced just last week that CBS All Access is adding kids’ programming, and bringing Viacom’s Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. content into the mix is a natural for driving subscriber volume and revenue.

At the same time, predictions of the early demise of cable and broadcast TV are clearly premature, even just plain off the mark.

CBS and Viacom certainly aren’t downplaying the opportunities in traditional revenue streams. With larger viewership share, the combined company should be able to up its current 11% share of retransmission and affiliate revenues, Ianniello said.

Indeed, CBS reported last week that combined affiliate and subscription revenue rose 13% in its fiscal Q2, driven by CBS All Access and the Showtime OTT streaming services.

While total U.S. pay TV subscribers have dropped from 101 million to 87 million over the past six years, upfront revenues for broadcast and cable networks have risen 4.6% to 5.9% each year for the past five, according to Media Dynamics stats cited by MediaPost’s Wayne Friedman.

Nor was the ViacomCBS news the only development this week speaking to the melding of traditional and advanced TV.

Amid the public rancor and blackouts occurring as content producers push into D2C distribution and MVPDs seek to protect their interests, Charter Communications and The Walt Disney Company managed to hammer out a multiyear carriage renewal agreement.

Not only will Charter’s TV residential broadband services continue to provide customers with access to more than 20 Disney channels; the deal “contemplates” Charter’s future distribution of Disney’s streaming services, including Hulu, ESPN+ and the soon-to-come Disney+.

They even agreed to cooperate to crack down on password sharing and unauthorized access — common consumer activities that must certainly be putting a dent in potential new subscriber growth.

Could this be a sign that industry players are learning that give and take and productive synergies are not only possible, but a heck of a lot better in the long term for both sides, as well as consumers?



The UK addressable TV market is growing, with 40% of homes now addressable, and a new report from Sky AdSmart claims this channel delivers higher engagement and clear business results for advertisers.

A white paper, AdSmart: Five Years and Forward, pulls together insights collated from five years of learnings into the UK addressable TV market through Sky’s AdSmart technology, with findings based on more than 130 campaign effectiveness projects, in which 300,000 Sky subscribers were interviewed.

The use of facial recognition analysis revealed that when addressable ads are on TV, viewers are on average 21% more engaged but attentiveness to the screen can be as much as a third higher (35%).

At the same time, channel switching halved (reducing by 48%) when addressable ads were in the first three positions of a break, compared to standard linear TV ads.

The report further found that viewers of addressable TV ads were 10% more likely to spontaneously recall an ad compared to linear TV advertising. And when linear and addressable TV are combined ad awareness increased by a quarter (22%) and ad recall by half (49%).

Crucially, the higher engagement and relevance lead to clear business results: the report notes purchase intent increased by 7% overall – and by as much as 20% for new-to-TV advertisers who benefit more from the exposure and credibility TV delivers.

More than 1,000 businesses have used TV for the first time via AdSmart, and Sky reports a 70% advertiser return rate. Tapi Carpets, for example, generated more than 7,000 orders, netting £3.4m in revenue, which were directly attributable to its AdSmart campaign.

The recent expansion of AdSmart into Virgin Media homes (from July 1) means that 40% homes will be addressable, giving brands the ability to reach 30 million individuals with relevant messaging – which will likely give added impetus to a shift away from non-addressable linear TV.  

“It makes perfect sense,” said Jamie West, Director of Strategy & Capability Planning at Sky Media. “If an ad is more relevant to you, then you are more likely to remember it and that translates in greater impact.”

Last month Sky Media launched Sky Analytics, a one-stop portal to plan, report, evaluate and optimise cross-platform Sky Media campaigns, starting with AdSmart and On Demand.



Content abounds on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. But when viewers are faced with too many choices of what to watch, some end up tuning out. 

That’s the main finding from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report from the first quarter of 2019. What some have dubbed the golden age of TV led to 495 original scripted programs across various TV platforms in 2018, per AdAge, but all of these choices might be paralyzing viewers.

Viewers spend just over 7 minutes browsing a streaming service for something to watch, per Axios. Younger adults — those between 18 and 49 — spend 8 to 10 minutes looking for something before calling it quits, whereas older adults give it just 5 minutes. Just over 20 percent who go in unsure of what they want to watch wind up giving up and tuning out, per Nielsen. 

Uncertainty plus too much choice ends up turning many viewers off: Almost 60 percent reported being more likely to go back to favored traditional TV channels if they don’t know what they want to watch via a streaming service. 

Plus, only one-third of adults find the content menus — where content is sorted by category and algorithms are used to make suggestions to viewers — helpful when it comes to figuring out what to watch.

“Content discovery…is crucial to consumers in an era when they’re inundated with ads and content,” Peter Katsingris, Nielsen’s SVP of audience insights, is quoted in the report, per The Drum. “Conversely, these same consumers are connecting to this fragmented content at unparalleled rates — well over 11 hours each day across screens and devices.”

The findings support what researchers have observed when it comes to choice, which is that when faced with too many choices, we revert to what’s familiar. We think we like choices, but too many options leaves us stressed trying to make a decision. 

Seven in 10 homes have a subscription video on demand service, per Nielsen, and more than 70 percent use streaming-capable TV devices. Video viewing through TV-connected devices has increased by 8 minutes per day, reports Deadline.

Axios points out these findings come as even more companies get into the streaming game. Disney is set to launch its streaming service, Disney+, which will offer Disney, Marvel and Star Wars films, and Apple has announced its forthcoming Apple TV+ streaming service, joining Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and ESPN+.

Some hope to grab viewers by boasting exclusive rights to a beloved show, like NBCUniversal taking “The Office” and WarnerMedia announcing its HBO Max will have every episode of “Friends.”

For those who do know what they want to watch, it can be frustrating to manage the subscriptions needed to watch the shows or content they’re interested in, especially as content arrives and disappears from certain platforms, NPR reports. Some experts believe the best streaming services will rise to the top in the next few years, whittling down the competition. 

Nielsen notes streaming companies might want to refine recommendations and update content menus to better appeal to users. 

Media research data indicates people will spend a total of about $38 a month on streaming services, per the Wall Street Journal



Results of an exclusive egta survey confirm top management’s expectations for the industry.

Over 100 CEO’s and senior executives from surveyed egta members – leading TV and radio sales houses across Europe and beyond – expect growth in ad spend for both Total Video and Total Audio in the next three years. An exclusive survey carried out by the Brussels-based trade association sheds light on the continued transformation the advertising industry is expecting.

Opportunities ahead lie in targetability and personalisation

With change comes opportunity. Approximately 88% of respondents perceive targetability – enabling advertisers to pinpoint their target markets – and personalisation – creating relevant and unique experiences that hold attention for longer – as a priority for their company in the coming years.

Other particularly important growth areas highlighted by senior executives are streaming/online audionew ways for audiences to access content (additional screens and devices), new sources of data shared by advertisers and or telco providers, and addressable TV.

Reaching audiences where they are today

While opportunities abound on the horizon, senior executives also identified some of the challenges they foresee in this changing media landscape. More than 80% of C-suite executives state that they are relentless in their attempt to reach audiences where they are today – thus making up for the decline in linear TV ratings. Their focus is on building the right infrastructure that will allow today’s TV to compete with international online platforms and speed up the process around the identification and adoption of cross-platform measurement solutions.

Shaping the future of advertising

77% of TV members and 78% of radio members are positive about the future advertising market. Optimism remains – if slightly higher this year compared to two years ago – that both the Total Video and Total Audio ad markets continue to grow.

Broadcast TV and radio currently remain by far the biggest advertising revenue sources for broadcasters. However, respondents aim for online to take a larger share in the future. Approximately 90% of C-suite executives believe that advertising on online properties will represent a greater proportion of their revenue sources by 2022.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Katty Roberfroid, egta’s Director General said: “The homogeneity in the results we received from a vast majority of select top executives does show the way forward. If we are to future-proof today’s TV and radio’s business, both on air and online, we must continue to cooperate and innovate on all fronts: infrastructure, formats, measurement, and more. This will help advertisers reach the consumers around the premium content they love – in an always brand-safe environment that is respectful of their experience and privacy.”

Several CEO’s who participated in the survey added their comments:

“If we – as an industry – are to compete against international online platforms, it is all about competing on content, and collaborating on tech, currency, measurement and more. This common sense will help us create a truly seamless total video experience for both advertisers and users.”

Malin Häger, Sales Director & Chief Commercial Officer, TV4 Sales

“In an age of audience, it’s all about finding new ways for listeners to access the great content we have in abundance. In this battle for time and attention, Total Radio embraces innovation with plenty of opportunities with regards to personalisation, podcasting, streaming, on-demand radio and more – which will all contribute to a growing advertising market.”

Saskia Schatteman, Chief Executive Officer, VAR

“We need to experiment and continuously push the envelope with regards to targetability, personalisation and more to advance our industry. As addressable advertising is going to vary per market, we need to dig deeper into the data value, the return on investment and the scalability.”  

Christian Kurz, Senior Vice President Global Consumer Insights, Viacom

“We’re living in an era where it’s no longer about linear or non-linear TV. When we’re in contact with marketers every day, we see they’re overwhelmed with solutions and fragmented media. We need to be the guiding light that helps them find the audiences where they are today, helping advertisers and their brands as a trusted partner with insights in this Total Video ecosystem.”

Stéphane Coruble, Chief Executive Officer, RTL AdConnect

“For us at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the bar is set high. As streaming video grows and younger viewers move online, we’ve been incessantly innovating to follow audiences online – as a multiplatform player amid fast-changing viewer habits. In our unique position, bridging the US and European market, we’re focussing on building the right infrastructure as we expect more revenue from online in the coming years.”

Jean Mongeau, General Manager & Chief Revenue Officer Media Solutions, CBC/Radio-Canada



Manatt, Vorhaus Digital Strategy Study Reveals Traditional TV Is Not Dead Despite Continued Online Video Ascendance

Research uncovers surprising trends for the future of cord-cutting, SVOD and esports

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, a multidisciplinary, integrated professional services firm, and digital media consulting company, Vorhaus Advisors, today released their inaugural Digital Strategy Study, which analyzes the state of media and content consumption. Through a comprehensive consumer survey focusing on topics including connected TV, subscription video on demand (SVOD), mobile and esports, the report identifies a number of key trends that illustrate how consumers are interacting with technology to consume digital content, including:

  • Online video is on the rise, but traditional TV is not dead. Traditional television continues to fall far behind digital devices for consumers between the ages of 18 to 34, with 72 percent in that group using a smartphone to watch online video once a week or more, compared with only 56 percent who used a television set connected to the internet. However, despite a preference for digital devices among 18 to 34 year olds, television is still the top-rated device for the broader population over the age of 18.
  • SVOD continues to impress and has room to grow. Of online users, 74 percent subscribe to a service, with nearly six in ten using Netflix. Furthermore, half of all SVOD viewing is consumed on an internet-connected TV, proving that related subscription apps are critical for connected TV’s popularity. Consumers also say they are likely to buy up to another 1.6 SVOD services, beyond what they already have.
  • Skinny bundles might be a saving grace for pay TV companies. While cord-cutting is likely to continue at a steady pace, 35 percent of consumers are interested in subscribing to a “skinny bundle” as a streamlined alternative to cable packages. With 47 percent of respondents saying cost is the primary reason for cord-cutting, traditional pay TV companies have found traction with this customized offering.
  • Livestreaming remains strong and esports’ future is bright. More than half of online users watch livestreaming video every day on a wide variety of topics. Within that category, esports is quickly gaining market share as the sixth most popular type of content. Forty-six percent of respondents said they watch more esports now than they did six months ago, and 43 percent anticipate spending more time watching esports in the upcoming six months.

“In addition to the surge in online video viewership more generally, the market for esports is massive and an area that our team is deeply involved in as companies assess investment and M&A opportunities,” said Ned Sherman, digital and technology partner and director with Manatt. “We’ve represented some of the major players as well as negotiated team and player agreements for the top esports competitors in the industry, and this research reinforces that the market for this will only continue to grow.”

“SVOD and OTT continue to grow and traditional pay TV remains under pressure from cord-cutting,” said Mike Vorhaus, CEO of Vorhaus Advisors. “Our data suggests that skinny bundle offerings are an effective strategy for winning back traditional pay TV consumers. Furthermore, traditional television consumption remains highly attractive, particularly among the population 35 years and older.”

The study analyzes survey responses from more than 2,000 respondents over the age of 18. The sample was matched to the U.S. Census for age, gender and race, and questions focused on media attitudes and the behaviors of consumers on a broad range of topics. 



As a part of its membership in the professional organization egta, the Association of Television and Radio Companies from Europe and beyond, the Association of Commercial Television was granted the opportunity to host egta’s 2019 professional CEO & Top Exec’s Summit – the annual, 2-day egta-member meeting, where media companies share their experience, inspiration and contacts. This year’s meeting took place on June 6-7 and included more than 220 participants from 33 countries. 

Amongst the 35 speakers, who were representatives of egta members but also advertisers, media or research agencies, were Ivan Yamshchikov, AI Evangelist from the Max Planc Institute, Stéphane Berubé – L´Oréal’s CMO for Western Europe, and Kim Younes – from the French media group M6 Publicité and Chris Goldson – from the British commercial leader ITV. The Czech media houses were represented by Jan Vlček from TV Nova/CME, Martina Říhová from Active Group and the client’s point of view was brought by Petr Janeba from Škoda Auto ČR.

“The subheading of this year’s summit was “Building Bridges,” which is a big and up-to-date topic and not only for our television industry. This era has been changing rapidly; technologies are developing very fast and have crucial impact on consumer behavior. We, the media, thus have to adjust not only to the changing viewer habits but also to the demand and expectations from advertisers. Events like egta CEO Summit give us a valuable perspective on what and how our foreign colleagues deal with and, at the same time, inspire us as to what could work for us,” says Marek Singer, AKTV’ s president

“The CEO and Top Exec’s Summit was the ideal opportunity to remind our delegates that both TV and radio are thriving now that they have digitally transformed and are available across a multitude of screens, devices and audio platforms. The exchange of insights, benchmarks and best practices in our constantly evolving industry illustrate that – whereas we can compete on the content that we propose to viewers – there are plenty of reasons for broadcasters to collaborate in the face of increasingly international competition. Our sincere thanks goes out to AKTV for graciously hosting the Summit in the beautiful city of Prague and providing the ideal conditions for these insightful two days,” adds
Katty Roberfroid, Director General, egta


There were lots of interesting things to catch the eye in the Advertising Association/Warc annual adspend figures for 2018 – not least the rapid growth of Broadcaster VOD advertising, up 29% to £390m and forecast to grow at a similar rate for the next two years. Total TV investment was stable year on year at £5.1bn.

But what really caught my eye, and then violently thrust my eyebrows up several notches, was the amount of adspend now going to online video.

In 2018, it was £2.3bn, up from £1.7bn in 2017. Take BVOD’s reported £390m away from that and you have a non-broadcaster online video ad market in the UK of £1.9bn – 26% of the total video ad market.

Why the raised eyebrows? Well, when you compare this share of video adspend with the relative share of video ad viewing, everything gets weird. Very weird, indeed. And eye-wateringly expensive.

TV including BVOD accounts for 95% of video advertising time, according to analysis of industry data.

Online video such as YouTube, Facebook and the long programmatic tail together account for 4%. Cinema is the remaining 1%.

In other words, the average person watches 17 minutes of TV advertising a day (the 95%) and one minute of non-broadcaster online video advertising (the 4%).

Yet AA/Warc figures show that £1.9bn was poured into that single minute a day and £5.1bn into the 17 minutes.

That means 4% of video ad viewing took 26% of video adspend; the other 95% of video ad viewing took 70%.

How are your eyebrows doing? Mine have escaped my forehead and are heading for the skies. And we haven’t even factored in the quality of the different ad exposures; this is purely based on quantity of advertising seen.

Let’s turn this into the comparable measure of cost per completed views. Online video ads are usually priced on a cost-per-start basis, but that is obviously the lowest of benchmarks, so let’s look at the average cost for 30 seconds of video ad viewing for a meaningful like-for-like comparison:

As you can see, the average cost across TV advertising (linear and BVOD) for 30 seconds is just over £6. For non-broadcaster online video, it goes up to a whopping £45.

So, the potentially brand-unsafe, often small-screen, often partially viewable world of online video costs advertisers seven times more than TV. This doesn’t sound like value for money.

How has this happened? How is this black hole sucking in such a disproportionate amount of money?

What seems likely is that advertisers are often making decisions about online video based on its superficially attractive cost per view (start), rather than assessing the price based on completed views.

What to do? First, please return my eyebrows to me if you see them. Second, I would suggest advertisers request a detailed breakdown from their agencies of the like-for-like cost per completed (human) viewable view in their audiovisual mixes. If their eyebrows can take it.



As BARB releases its latest Viewing Report, Wavemaker’s Emma Moorhead discusses how new multiple-screen data is changing the way that agencies plan television

The media industry is in search of the Holy Grail: a single-source measurement of TV viewing across all screens and channels. In 2018, we got one step closer to this with the launch of multiple-screen viewing figures, the first stage of BARB’s Project Dovetail initiative. While these additional data are very much welcomed, how do they change the way we deliver the best outcomes for our clients?

Overnight viewing figures have formed the bedrock of how we plan, buy and optimise television campaigns. The launch of a new campaign goes hand-in-hand with securing a kick-off spot in a top-rating programme to reach a mass audience. If a programme over- or under-performs, next-day negotiations ensue to secure the desired number of exposures. But in recent years, displacement of viewing has made this task more complicated.

Linear television viewing is now regularly timeshifted. On average, people watch 29.3 daily minutes of television timeshifted, and this timeshifted viewing accounts for an average increase of 15% on a typical overnight rating. Sometimes it can be more; the launch episode of Shipwrecked on January 28th 2019 was watched live by 219,000 people, but the consolidated 7-day figure more than tripled to 685,000. Consolidated ratings used as a proxy for reach become progressively difficult to estimate, making the buyer’s job increasingly complex.

Some content is still watched live by the majority of its audience, in particular event programming – think of England in the World Cup. BARB data break down the numbers watching live or timeshifted within seven or 28 days, so we can buy the right spot when that live first-look is still the key metric; we’re starting to see greater nuances in how we plan our television content.

In addition, while it’s well-documented that linear television consumption is in decline, this is partially compensated for by the growth of BVOD services. The appetite to consume high-quality content for several hours a day remains, albeit fragmented across screens. BARB’s new multiple-screen viewing data give us insight into how programmes are viewed across TV sets, PCs, tablets and smartphones.

For example, in 2018, Love Island gained up to 27% incremental viewing uplift from non-TV devices, while Family Guy gained up to 8% uplift. Nonetheless, as a whole, non-TV set devices add less than 2% to TV set viewing; the TV set remains the favoured means of viewing.

And despite these additional data on device consumption, we remain none the wiser as to the incremental reach BVOD can offer to a linear television campaign across all screens.

Using BVOD to supplement reach is centred in a linear television-first approach to planning. Interestingly, another aspect of BARB’s data suggests that alternative approaches could be sensible to deliver impact in a fragmented viewing world. BARB can now measure viewing to programmes on BVOD services before they are broadcast.

For example, 1.15m people chose to watch the second episode of Save Me via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast on TV sets; this was more than half of the total TV set audience of 2.19m. This increased throughout the series, with the final episode watched by 83% of people via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast.

Understanding how programmes are consumed influences how we approach planning. A linear-first approach misses the opportunity to reach audiences when the content is at its most valuable; when it’s providing the watercooler moment. We should instead be moving towards an audience and content-first approach – buying the right programming, at the right time for greatest impact amongst viewers.

The need to re-evaluate our planning approach becomes even more prominent when we consider that changes in consumer behaviour are starkest among younger audiences. Ad-supported YouTube and SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon remain the top challengers to television’s incumbent media owners.

BARB’s measure of unidentified viewing – where the TV set is used to do something other than watch a BARB-reported channel or BVOD service – includes viewing to SVOD services and online platforms. In 2018, unidentified viewing accounted for 48 daily minutes for all individuals, rising to 71 minutes for 16-34-year-olds. Greater insight into this consumption would be very much welcomed.

YouTube has expressed a willingness to be part of BARB’s Joint Industry Currency (JIC) model, but in its own words it wants to be “represented appropriately and fairly”. Here remains a fundamental problem with reconciling television and online viewing.

Television is measured by impacts in units of 30 seconds, whereas online is measured by impressions with no time exposure element. For the two to be comparable, we need to use duration-based measurement for online viewing. Everything needs to be clearly labelled so we aren’t comparing apples and pears.

Meanwhile, addressable television is on the rise but is far from ubiquitous. In order to realise the long-promised future where television is a more efficient, targeted and digital-like medium, we need to reach a point where content and distribution are more vertically integrated.

In this future, new measurement opportunities may complement the data offered by BARB through the likes of set-top box data. A more digital-like television future offers the opportunity to deliver precision at scale.

Trusted and accurate measurement remains essential to accountability, planning

and optimisation, and increasingly so in a world where we see displacement, fragmentation and disruption. Ultimately, we need to understand the value that each exposure drives for advertisers. The outcomes are what are important; measurement allows us to link exposure to value.

The industry must come up with a measurement solution enabling better understanding of viewing patterns across all screens and channels. This is still some years away, even in the most advanced markets.

BARB’s Project Dovetail in the UK is setting the example, although we must remain patient before we achieve multiple-screen advertising campaign performance. Regardless, the JIC principles underpinning Barb should not be weakened or compromised.

Despite everything, linear television has sustained advertiser demand, giving the impression that it is as effective and essential as ever, but for how long, and in what balance relative to the alternatives?



What does this say about programmatic video ads?

Despite marketers’ efforts with advanced programmatic and data targeting for video ads, consumers still find that they are more likely to be served a relevant ad on linear TV.

According to a survey conducted by Adobe in February 2019, 49% of US internet users said that TV was one of the mediums where they were most likely to see a relevant ad, while just 12% said the same about streaming video.

Valuable ad placements and the ability to reach a mass audience have kept TV ads relevant in the digital age. But digital video allures marketers with advanced targeting through programmatic advertising, which uses audience data that TV doesn’t have.

This year, we estimate $29.24 billion will be spent on programmatic video ads—accounting for 81.2% of digital video ad spend. For TV, just 4.0% of ad spending in the US will be programmatic.

There are many perceived advantages to programmatic advertising, most of which revolve around lower costs and the ability to harness data. In response to a November 2018 survey by Digiday Research, 56% of US agency and brand media buyers said that increased targeting and optimization was the biggest advantage of programmatic advertising. But if viewers still find TV ads to be more relevant, then programmatic may not be as effective as some marketers perceive it to be.

Consumer sentiment does indicate that ads are becoming more relevant overall. In the Adobe study, 46% of consumers felt that the ads they saw currently were more relevant than those they were served a year prior. But, most marketers can agree, there’s still a long way to go before personalization is perfected.

Only 32% of marketers believe their industry is delivering personalization effectively, according to a survey conducted in February and March 2019 by Evergage and Researchscape International. When asked how satisfied they were with the level of personalization in their own marketing efforts, 50% said they were either not satisfied or slightly satisfied, and 34% said they were moderately satisfied.

While marketers may have faith in programmatic’s potential to target the ultraspecific, it is possible that the accuracy of the data just isn’t sufficient—and that’s why these ads aren’t resonating with viewers.

Many marketers would agree, per the Evergage/Researchscape International report. Nearly half of respondents (45%) felt they didn’t have sufficient data and insights for effective personalization.



People watching “social shows” like “Dancing with the Stars” or “The Bachelor” on television and simultaneously sharing their views on Twitter are more likely to be committed to the program and shop online, according to new research from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

Marketers have feared that social media distracts viewers from commercials and minimizes their impact. But this research found the opposite. “Social shows” are more beneficial to advertisers because commercials that air in those programs generate more online shopping on the advertisers’ websites.

The international marketing research firm Nielsen estimated in 2014 that 80 percent of U.S. television viewers simultaneously used another device while watching television, often live tweeting to share their views, for example. The trend has led scholars to coin the term “social TV.”

“Participation in online chatter about a program may indicate that viewers are more engaged with the program,” said Beth L. Fossen, assistant professor of marketing at Kelley. “Online program engagement may encourage a loyal, committed viewing audience. And media multitasking may decrease the ability for the viewer to counterargue or resist persuasion attempts, increasing ad effectiveness.

“We find that advertisements that air in programs with more social activity see increased ad responsiveness in terms of subsequent online shopping behavior. This result varies with the mood of the ad, with more affective ads — in particular, funny and emotional ads — seeing the largest increases in online shopping activity.

“Our results shed light on how advertisers can encourage online shopping activity on their websites in the age of multiscreen consumers.”

In the study, Fossen and her co-author, David Schweidel of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, sought to determine how the volume of program-related online chatter is related to online shopping behavior at the retailers that advertised during the programs.

In addition to their findings that social shows benefit advertisers by encouraging online shopping activity, Fossen and Schweidel also found that increases in online chatter about a retailer lead to increased traffic to the company’s website in the first five minutes after the advertisement appears.

They also found that ad timing affected online shopping. Ads airing near a half-hour interval — such as 8:28 or 9:02 p.m. — spurred more online purchases than ads aired at other times. Commercials airing earlier in the evening generated more web traffic than those airing before the late-night news.

Fossen and Schweidel studied the online shopping activity of 100,000 active internet users, which they paired with data on commercials for five retailers and nearly 1,700 instances of advertising on 83 prime-time programs during the fall 2013 television season. They considered online traffic and sales on the retailers’ websites, prime-time advertising, social media comments mentioning the TV program or the advertiser, and characteristics of both the program and the advertising.