Disney Advertising expands EDO, Samba TV measurement partnerships

During Disney Advertising’s annual Tech & Data Showcase Wednesday, the company announced deals with EDO and Samba TV, as well as the appointment of Eric Cavanaugh as VP of measurement transformation and insights, as part of its strategy for advancing measurement and new currency.

Before joining Disney in November Cavanaugh was most recently SVP of Global Research and Data Sciences at Publicis Media. He previously served as SVP of Audience and Consumer Intelligence at ZenithOptimedia Group.

Also at the showcase, Disney disclosed said it’s building on a multi-year relationship with Samba TV -  one of several relative new vendors competing in the measurement space -  for data to determine reach and frequency across screens.

Since Disney partnered with Samba last year, the companies performed a meta analysis study based on 100 advertisers, using first-party measurement insights across both linear and streaming to prove effectiveness of Disney’s portfolio in driving reach faster and at a lower frequency. According to Disney, initial results show campaigns delivered as much as 56% incremental reach in certain use cases – “meaning that more than half of households that saw an ad through Disney’s Addressable footprint, didn’t see the same ad in linear.”

It also noted how de-duplicating audiences for incremental reach drives better outcomes.  According to Disney, one CPG client in the study gained 34% incremental reach to linear by activating against Disney’s CTV footprint, with 82% of CTV reach from light TV viewers. Again, the company highlighted that the relationship with Samba established the new benchmark to measure advertising effectiveness.

“Many legacy, linear TV first measurement providers underrepresent the proliferation of streaming that has become so dominant in the last decade. Samba TV’s methodology is differentiated because our data and methodology stems from connected devices that also integrate other platforms,” said Samba TV CEO and founder Ashwin Navin in a statement. “Our collaboration with Disney continues to future-proof advertising for the next generation multi-currency world, empowering advertisers to measure their effectiveness on any Disney platform, across every screen.”

The relationship with Samba is notable, as media companies such as NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery have turned to other measurement players such as iSpot.tv and VideoAmp, respectively. The new breed of players has cropped up as the industry looks beyond Nielsen’s traditional measurement panels, with the aim to scale new currencies and accurately capture programming and advertising audience data and impact in a viewing world that’s increasingly fragmented across streaming and traditional platforms (though it should be noted companies tend to use a variety of measurement companies - including Disney which has also tapped VideoAmp, using its data for measurement in connected TV through a direct integration with Disney’s proprietary Audience Graph. Disney’s also been involved in industrywide Alpha tests for Nielsen One).

In another move for cross-screen insights, Disney Advertising on Wednesday announced entering into a deal with EDO to apply the vendor’s engagement metrics to measure the impact of ad campaigns across Disney’s streaming footprint including Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+, first starting with Hulu. Disney said this will give advertisers increased insight into how Disney’s premium content converts into consumer engagement and performance.

“EDO’s outcome-based measurement metrics alongside Disney’s vast linear and streaming catalog provides an alternative signal of outcome-based ad performance that’s both simple and immediate," said Michael Piner, EVP Advanced Advertising at Mediahub Worldwide, in a statement. "This partnership helps build a solid foundation for industry adoption of new outcome based measurement metrics that allow us to understand Convergent TV ad performance.”

According to Disney the deal with EDO sets the foundation to expand outcome-based measurement to streaming.

At the virtual Tech & Data showcase, actor/filmmaker and EDO co-founder Edward Norton noted that when an ad runs against a show or game on ESPN, viewers often turn to their phone to shop or search.

“When they do we measure in real time, the nuanced actions they take that specifically show real purchase intent interest,” Norton said Wednesday. “Much more than soft metrics of exposure or sentiment, the actions we monitor have been proven to be a leading indicator of purchase intent and actually correlated strongly to market share growth. That’s an investment-grade signal of the sort that the financial markets have had for years but that we’ve been sorely lacking in media and advertising.”

Disney touted progress and vision for its advertising efforts including tools and its proprietary Disney ad server, which will be used to support all of its properties including the ad-supported tier of Disney+ that just launched in December.

Data, identity solutions, programmatic, self-serve solutions, and cleanrooms – as well as outcome-based performance for marketers, were all main focuses of the showcase as Disney displayed efforts to unify its advertising capabilities across linear and streaming properties – including the new streaming tier with ads.  

On the measurement front, one recent industry initiative that Disney is notably absent from is a Joint Industry Committee (JIC), formed this month by OpenAP, the VAB, and major programmers Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision, and Warner Bros. Discovery, in part to create a certification process for cross-platform measurement solutions to enable multiple alternative currencies ahead of the 2024 upfront. The JIC also aims to ultimately create a unified streaming dataset through OpenAP.