How broadcasters can transform TV into a performance-based medium
Newfound analytics and metrics can help change perceptions of linear TV
- The pandemic increased advertisers’ shift in spending to performance-based mediums, impacting TV advertising, which many perceive as difficult to measure
- TV is still a top performer in reach, but in order to win advertisers and change the perception of this channel, metrics of success need to be trackable
- Artificial intelligence is changing the game, helping broadcasters turn television into a performance-based channel by quantifying and proving campaign success
With the advent of digital media, such as streaming and social media, there’s a common misperception that television is becoming irrelevant. Although TV still has an impressive reach, the notion persists that it’s difficult to measure metrics of success in television. The pandemic has only added to this challenge, as advertisers have scrutinized budgets even further and increasingly shifted spending to digital where measuring performance is more straightforward.
But perceptions can be dangerous. Even as cord-cutting dominates headlines, television still has a ton of opportunity and validity as a medium. But first, let’s start by looking at what is happening with TV advertising, the problems broadcasters face, and how they can be solved.
COVID-19 put the spotlight on the problem of measuring TV ad performance
In 2020, TV ad spends dropped 9 percent, which shakes out to a loss of $3.7 billion. The uncertainty surrounding the economy because of the pandemic had advertisers tightening their spending. As they pulled back, they started to reassess how to invest these dollars.
During such a tumultuous time, advertisers became very judicious with how they wanted to spend their money. TV advertising took a hit because advertisers wanted better tracking beyond how many potential viewers or households they would reach. So, they decided to invest more in channels where they could more easily track performance.
Digital was an obvious winner in this scenario because it has rich analytics that enables detailed tracking of campaign performance. As a large portion of ad dollars shifted into more trackable channels, trepidation over traditional media only grew.
However, this negative perception overlooks the immense opportunity that television offers. TV was still one of the top three channels to dominate weekly reach in the latter part of 2020. But in truth, traditional media tracking needs to evolve to stay on par with its digital counterparts so that this opportunity can be fully realized.
Using artificial intelligence to modernize television ad measurement
Artificial intelligence has changed the game for traditional media advertising. It has breathed new life into this medium that has long struggled to validate performance by combining the efficacy of the medium with new proof-of-performance and attribution insights. Some of the things that weren’t possible before AI include:
- Tracking native integrations with in-content sponsorships for locally produced programming like news, weather, sports, and community affairs shows
- Identifying, quantifying, and recapping every element of a campaign, including spots, spoken mentions, studio sponsorships, eyeliners, squeezebacks, info tickers, subcrawls, and time and temp sponsors
- The ability to quantify earned media and demonstrate a more efficient CPM to advertisers
- Attribution of an advertiser’s web traffic lift to their on-air campaigns
We helped Gray Television Sarasota implement an attribution strategy and win more business by providing them with the necessary tools to measure online response to on-air advertising campaigns. They can understand what success looks like by drilling down into data including location, day of week, frequency, time of day, length, and the performance of creative. With this added capability, they can further help their advertisers optimize and improve their campaigns with empirical data.
With the world making the slow transition out of the pandemic, advertising spend will only continue to ramp up as the industry rebounds. With the right tools, you can begin to win over advertisers by proving that TV advertising is a performance-based channel.
Learn more about how Veritone is helping broadcasters lead the way: