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This week’s Future of TV briefing examines how Yahoo DSP’s integration of three alternative measurement providers could help shape the future of TV and streaming advertising measurement.

A demand-side platform that extends third-party measurement support for connected TV campaigns may not sound all that exciting, but it is an example of the foundations that need to be laid for the future of TV and streaming advertising measurement.

First, the news: Yahoo’s DSP is adding support for CTV ad measurement from Comscore, iSpot.tv and VideoAmp, allowing advertisers to use the measurement currency competitors to evaluate their programmatically bought CTV campaigns (Yahoo had previously added and maintains support for Samba TV’s measurements).

The integration of the measurement providers — which is expected to be completed in time for this year’s upfront deals to take effect in the fourth quarter — is designed to make it easier for advertisers to invest more money from traditional TV into CTV. Or at least invest more money in CTV and price the investment on par with traditional TV. “We’ve told (advertisers) that CTV reach and incremental reach is there for them. Now we have the tools to make it seamless and actually activate it,” said Adam Roodman, SVP of product strategy and management at Yahoo.

Now, on to why this announcement is important. There are three reasons: 1) Streaming, and especially CTV, is becoming an increasingly larger part of the TV advertising market. 2) Programmatic is becoming the preferred method for buying streaming ads among advertisers. 3) The TV and streaming advertising industry is moving into a multi-currency era where supporting multiple measurement providers across the advertising supply chain will be critical to ensuring consistent reporting.

In other words, advertisers will increasingly buy streaming ads, and they will increasingly use DSPs to do so. And they will want to measure these campaigns using the same measurements they use for their traditional TV buys. And since Nielsen is no longer the only measurement currency in the market, advertisers will look for DSPs that support the different measurement currencies so that a brand doesn’t have to use one DSP for Nielsen-powered buys and another for VideoAmp-powered buys, for example.

“Interoperability and flexibility are absolutely critical as we operate not only in a multi-currency world, but also in a world where multiple metrics are triangulated. The flexibility you get when you can choose the partner that matches the individual client’s preferences – all the way down to the agency-level preferences – is really helpful,” said Kevin Cahn, Head of Media Center of Excellence at Kepler Group.

And indeed, there seems to be a dynamic in this regard – and there are also efforts on the part of the DSPs to differentiate themselves.

“It seems like this is a game-changing moment. But I think it will be just the first of many. There are a lot of other players who are very interested in doing exactly the same kind of work. So the demand is high,” said Pete Bradbury, chief commercial and growth officer at VideoAmp.

“Looking at video content consumption across CTV, linear and streaming platforms as a unified whole – the way consumers do, rather than in isolated segments – is critical to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ad buys for agencies and advertisers. Our role as a measurement partner integrated with Yahoo DSP, providing a comprehensive view of reach, frequency and behavior through Comscore, is an important step toward achieving this goal,” said Steve Bagdasarian, chief commercial officer at Comscore, in an emailed statement.

“iSpot has invested heavily in partnerships and integrations with publishers, platforms and DSPs like Trade Desk and Yahoo because we provide independent, unbiased verification of things like ad delivery and incremental audience delivery versus linear delivery, which helps prove the value and effectiveness of brand spend,” Emily Wood, vice president of business development at iSpot.tv, said in an emailed statement.

The Trade Desk, for example, supports Nielsen and iSpot.tv as measurement options, but in 2022 the company made iSpot.tv the default measurement option of its DSP without charging advertisers for iSpot’s CTV measurement. Yahoo does something similar by not charging its advertisers for VideoAmp’s CTV measurement, although advertisers must pay fees for Comscore and iSpot.

Roodman said that not only has VideoAmp received “very strong feedback” from ad buyers about their use of VideoAmp to measure ratings, but the company has also made the strongest efforts to keep up with Yahoo’s Unified TV Report, which uses data from vendors like Nielsen and Vizio to analyze incremental reach across traditional TV and CTV.

“When we looked at measurement providers, we tried to mimic the complexity of our Unified TV Report to be able to offer measurements that are on par with that. And the bar is pretty high. When we started talking to all the different partners about a year ago, VideoAmp showed the most commitment to making this happen,” Roodman said.

It could be particularly helpful for DSPs like Yahoo to not only support the different measurement providers, but also provide advertisers with a way to reconcile the measurements from the different providers.

Yahoo, for example, has its Connect ID identity backbone, which uses email addresses to identify opted-in audiences. This ID graph connects to data from TV set-top boxes and smart TVs’ automatic content discovery tools through contracts with DirecTV and Vizio through Yahoo’s Unified TV Audience product. Yahoo could use this footprint as a sort of Rosetta Stone, matching it with measurements from Comscore, iSpot.tv, Samba TV and VideoAmp, and squaring the reported numbers from the various measurement providers.

“That’s not on our immediate roadmap today. I like the concept. But we’re doing everything we can to stay out of grading our own homework. So for us, it’s a difficult balancing act to make sure we allow for review but stay out of it,” Roodman said.

As Roodman suggested, an independent, industry-standard ID system would be the preferred source of information among ad buyers for such a comparison. “If Yahoo was involved in the methodology, then maybe that wouldn’t be the ideal solution,” said an agency executive. “But if there was an agreed-upon standard and the DSP was the means of delivering it, then I think that would be a different and even more valuable proposition than if the DSP defined it themselves.”

What we heard

“The absolute majority of my direct brand deals are short-form (videos) and have been for, I would say, at least three years.”

Molly Burke in the latest episode of the Creators series of the Digiday Podcast

Key figures

650 million US dollars: This is how much money Warner Bros. Discovery will reportedly pay over a period of ten years to secure the rights to the French Open.

30.2%: Percentage of total TV revenue that CTV is expected to generate this year.

20 million: Number of monthly active Google TV and Android TV devices on the Google CTV advertising network.

10.7 billion US dollars: This is how much money subscription-based streamers are expected to spend on their programming in the major European TV markets this year.

What we covered

How founders Molly Burke and Tyler Oakley built online communities through their commitment:

  • Burke and Oakley joined YouTube over a decade ago and have expanded to platforms like Patreon and Twitch.
  • Patreon and Twitch have enabled creators to have closer connections with their audiences.

Listen to the latest episode of the Digiday podcast here.

Why business publishers are realizing the value of advertising revenue from social video advertising:

  • Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo Finance are using LinkedIn’s new video revenue share program as an incentive to expand their social video programs.
  • Software-as-a-service and other technology brands are increasingly interested in video capabilities.

You can find more information about social video advertising revenue here.

LinkedIn’s Publisher Revenue Share Program enters the next phase:

  • LinkedIn is testing a revenue sharing program for video ads with publishers.
  • Publishers participating in the test include Barron’s, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Forbes, MarketWatch, NBCUniversal, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo Finance.

Read more about LinkedIn’s Video Rev Share program here.

What we read

Paramount’s parent company cancels sale of Skydance:

Shari Redstone will ultimately not sell Paramount and its parent company National Amusements to Skydance Media, but is still planning to sell the media company, according to the Wall Street Journal.

NBA is close to signing the latest TV rights deals:

Time is running out in the NBA’s negotiations with TV networks and streaming services. Amazon, Disney and NBCUniversal are likely to be the big winners, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the league is the real winner with expected revenue of $76 billion.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s last-second praise for the NBA rights:

TNT’s parent company is excluded from renewing the NBA rights, but WBD hopes to land a small rights package to stay in business, according to Variety.

Court dramas on reality TV:

According to the New York Times, cast members of reality TV shows are suing the companies behind shows like Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” and Bravo’s “Real Housewives,” alleging that the companies failed to protect the cast members from various forms of harassment.

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