This post is sponsored by Innovid.
There's no shortage of advertising options for marketers looking to reach cord cutters and the 71% of internet users who use over-the-top devices to watch video. Yet, even with those numbers, media spend on OTT remains small.
The challenge has been the ability for marketers to make an apples-to-apples comparison between linear TV and OTT when it comes to audience reach and frequency. Though that data is available in separate places, it's nearly impossible for marketers to compare it at scale and in enough time to make adjustments to campaigns. So, instead, marketers have been doing a fair amount of guess work when it comes to OTT ad investments, panelists said at an Advertising Week session on the topic last week.
The panel discussed a new solution launched by Roku and advertising and analytics platform Innovid that could solve this problem. The product allows advertisers to measure reach and frequency across linear television and OTT on a daily basis. The solution equips them to make data-backed decisions about how to allocate ad spend and enables them to make adjustments throughout a campaign depending on how it performs.
And, because Roku is the most popular OTT device in the US and Innovid is the world's largest server of video ads, including OTT, the partnership brings together massive amounts of data that marketers can tap.
During the panel, which was part of Advertising Week's "Future of TV" series, Omnicom Media Group Chief Research Officer Jonathan Steuer said that advertisers have been clamoring for such a solution -- which he dubbed "nirvana for measurement nerds" -- that gives them visibility into audience data across video delivery platforms and makes it possible to compare the two.
"The challenge we have today is putting everything on an equal footing," he said. "There are plenty of ad-supported options moving into the space, but the bigger challenge is being able to understand ad delivery across all the places an ad can go."
Mike Law, president of Amplifi US, the media investment arm of Dentsu Aegis Network, predicted that this tool will help marketers move dollars from linear television to OTT. Even though many marketers are eager to tap OTT, they are prone to "reverting back to the way we always bought," he said.
"Having real measurement from trusted and scale partners really starts to help people understand the value and put numbers on it," Law added.
The tool is still being tested by several alpha partners, including Verizon. Alison Levin, Roku's vice president of ad sales and strategy, said the plan is to have it available for marketers in early 2020 so they can begin the year with a clearer understanding of how their ad delivery looks across television.
"The feedback is overwhelmingly positive. We knew it would be, because advertisers have been asking for this for a long time. They wanted this data yesterday," Levin said.
Jessica Hogue, general manager of measurement and analytics for Innovid, added that this solution and the partnership with Roku is just the first phase of the platform's goals for improving measurement in the OTT space. They plan to make such tools available across all OTT devices.
"What we ultimately want to provide is a visibility to all the impressions on OTT," she said. "This is a big need that we've heard about from brands."