VideoAmp, a startup in the audience measurement space, has inked a deal with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) to provide a full suite of measurement data and capabilities across the company’s linear, streaming and digital portfolio.
It signals a notable win for VideoAmp, which is one of several newer players competing in the measurement space as media companies and advertisers search for new ways to transact on TV advertising and reach viewers across linear and streaming. With WBD signed on to use VideoAmp data as a unified, cross-platform currency, the companies said it’s a move toward the scaled use of multiple alternative currencies, which comes ahead of the 2023 upfront.
“The industry needs a better way to measure and transact on audiences–one that accounts for cross-platform, supports both traditional and advanced audiences and provides attribution metrics in a manner that enables media sellers and buyers to unlock this potential and excel in a competitive environment,” said Ross McCray, CEO and founder at VideoAmp, in a statement.
The desire for new or alternative currencies is in part to ensure advertisers get clear and accurate datasets about audience and campaign reach, which has become more of a challenge as viewership shifts across a wide variety of platforms and services. It’s also in response to issues with panel-based data from Nielsen, which had its TV ratings services accreditation suspended by the Media Rating Council in 2021 related to potentially unreliable audience counts during Covid. Nielsen has been working toward reaccreditation, but it has not yet been reinstated by the MRC.
According to CNBC, Warner Bros. Discovery will still continue to use Nielsen measurement services.
“Traditional media measurement has not kept pace with how consumers are engaging with streaming and linear content. As a result, these audiences have been undercounted and current measures no longer accurately reflect their true advertising value,” said Andrea Zapata, EVP and head of Ad Sales Research, Measurement and Insights at Warner Bros. Discovery, in a statement. “We are gaining momentum as we act on our goals to offer best in class measurement capabilities and provide greater visibility into the return on ad spend across our award-winning IP.”
VideoAmp pulls data from set-top boxes and smart TV devices, providing WBD with a unified view of audience and outcome measurement across platforms, alongside planning capabilities. TelevisaUnivison in June tapped the vendor to bolster its Hispanic household dataset.
Its measurement will be used across WBD properties, which include streaming services Discovery+ and HBO Max. Those two platforms are set to combine into one yet-to-be-named service (though “Max” is reportedly the frontrunner’) this spring. According to VideoAmp, the partnership comes after wrapping up a test of video ad performance using alternative measures, and October analysis where WBD advertisers saw notable reach improvement leveraging the vendor’s data.
Per the client analysis, on average, brands that advertised with WBD in October saw a 1.2X greater reach per spot within the WBD Prime portfolio – and a 2.3X higher reach per spot in households with household income over $100,000.
As linear TV declines and companies look to make streaming businesses profitable, there have been industry calls for more standardization and transparency around measurement for the purpose of buying and selling advertising.
VideoAmp said the agreement allows WBD “to execute a major shift from traditional forms of measurement and more accurately present the true value of their ad inventory, redefining how media is bought and sold.”
In announcing the WBD and VideoAmp partnership, Omnicom Media Group CEO Ralph Pardo pointed to progress for third-party measurement.
“The new data relationship between Warner Bros. Discovery and VideoAmp is a step forward in better third-party measurement for the industry,” Pardo stated. “For Omnicom Media Group, it has the added benefit of aligning with our existing Omni Cross-Screen Insights capability and will help us close the loop for end-to-end planning through activation and measurement.”
In addition to VideoAmp, other vendors working to provide new currencies and forms of measurement include Comscore, iSpot.tv and Samba TV. iSpot last year invested in startup TVision, a Nielsen challenger providing person-level panel data across CTV and linear with attention-tracking technology.