Future of TV Briefing: Why Yahoo’s DSP adding CTV support for Nielsen rivals matters to the future of measurement

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This week’s Future of TV Briefing looks at how Yahoo DSP’s integration of three alternative measurement providers could help to shape the future of TV and streaming ad measurement.

  • CTV, DSP and KPIs, oh my
  • Paramount’s no-deal, the NBA’s new deals (and non-deals), reality TV’s legal dramas and more

CTV, DSP and KPIs, oh my

A demand-side platform expanding third-party measurement support for connected TV campaigns may not sound all that exciting. But it exemplifies the groundwork that needs to be laid for the future of TV and streaming ad measurement.

First, the news: Yahoo’s DSP is adding support for CTV ad measurement from Comscore, iSpot.tv and VideoAmp, which will enable advertisers to use the measurement currency contenders to gauge their CTV campaigns purchased programmatically (Yahoo had previously added and maintains support for Samba TV’s measurements). 

The integrations of the measurement providers — scheduled to be in place in time for when this year’s upfront deals take effect in the fourth quarter — is meant to facilitate advertisers moving more money into CTV from traditional TV. Or at least in moving more money into CTV and assessing the investment on par with traditional TV. “We’ve been telling [advertisers] CTV reach and incremental reach is there for you. Now we’ve got the tools to make it seamless to actually activate,” said Adam Roodman, svp of product strategy and management at Yahoo.

Now for why this announcement matters. Well, there are three reasons that converge: 1) Streaming, and especially CTV, are becoming a bigger part of the TV ad market. 2) Programmatic is becoming a preferred method among advertisers for purchasing streaming ads. 3) The TV and streaming ad industry is moving into a multi-currency era, in which support for multiple measurement providers across the advertising supply chain will be crucial for ensuring consistent reporting.

In other words, advertisers are going to be buying streaming ads more and more, and they’re going to be increasingly using DSPs to do so. And they’re going to want to measure those campaigns using the same measurements they use as the basis for their traditional TV buys. And with Nielsen no longer the sole measurement currency on the market, advertisers will be looking for their DSPs to support the different measurement currencies so that a brand isn’t having to use, for example, one DSP for Nielsen-backed buys and another for VideoAmp-backed buys.

“Interoperability and flexibility are absolutely critical when we’re going to be operating in not just a multi-currency world, but a world in which there’s triangulation of multiple measurement inputs. So the flexibility that comes with being able to choose which partner matches the preference of your individual client — on up to agency[-level preference] — is really helpful,” said Kevin Cahn, head of the media center of excellence at Kepler Group.  

And there does seem to be momentum building to that end — as well as efforts among the DSPs to differentiate.

“It seems that this is a bellwether moment. But I think it’s just going to be the first of many. We have a lot of interest from a lot of other players to do the exact same kind of work. So the demand is great,” said Pete Bradbury, chief commercial and growth officer at VideoAmp.

“Viewing video content consumption across CTV, linear, and streaming platforms as a unified whole—just like consumers do, rather than in isolated segments — is essential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of ad buys for agencies and advertisers. Our role as a measurement partner integrated into the Yahoo DSP, providing a comprehensive view of reach, frequency, and behavior through Comscore, is a major step toward achieving this,” 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 such as Trade Desk and Yahoo, because we are giving independent, unbiased verification of things like ad delivery, incremental audience delivery over linear, which helps establish proof of value and effectiveness of brand spend,” said Emily Wood, vp of business development at iSpot.tv 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 its DSP’s default measurement option without charging advertisers for CTV measurement from iSpot. Yahoo is doing something similar by not charging its advertisers for VideoAmp’s CTV measurement, though advertisers will have to pay fees for Comscore and iSpot. 

In addition to receiving “very strong feedback” from ad buyers about their adoption of VideoAmp for audience measurement, Roodman said that VideoAmp also made the strongest push to match up against Yahoo’s Unified TV Report, which uses data from providers such as Nielsen and Vizio to analyze incremental reach across traditional TV and CTV.

“When we looked at measurement providers, we tried to mimic what can you match in terms of the intricacy of our Unified TV Report so that you can give measurement that’s up to par with this. And it’s a pretty high bar. And so when we set out to talk to all the different partners about a year ago, VideoAmp showed the biggest level of commitment to matching it,” said Roodman.

What could be especially helpful is for DSPs such as Yahoo’s to not only support the various measurement providers but also to provide a way for advertisers to reconcile the different providers’ measurements. 

For example, Yahoo has its Connect ID identity spine that uses email addresses to identify logged-in audiences. That ID graph connects to data from TV set-top boxes and smart TV automatic content recognition tools through deals with DirecTV and Vizio via Yahoo’s Unified TV Audience product. Yahoo could use that footprint as a Rosetta Stone of sorts to match against the measurements from Comscore, iSpot.tv, Samba TV and VideoAmp and square the different measurement providers’ reported counts.

“We don’t have that in the immediate roadmap today. I do like that as a concept. We are doing everything we can to stay out of grading our own homework, however. So that’s a fine balancing act for us to make sure that we’re enabling but staying out of the verification,” said Roodman.

As Roodman indicated, an independent, industry-standard ID spine would be the preferred source of truth among ad buyers for such measurement reconciliation. “If [Yahoo] had a hand in the methodology, then it might not be the ideal solution,” said an agency executive. “But if there was an agreed-upon standard and the DSP was the vehicle to deliver that, then I do think it would be a different and even more valuable proposition as opposed to the DSP defining it themselves.”

What we’ve heard

“In my case with direct brand deals, absolutely [the] majority [are for] short form [videos] and has been for, I’d say, at least three years now.”

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

Numbers to know

$650 million: How much money Warner Bros. Discovery will reportedly pay over 10 years to secure French Open rights.

30.2%: Percentage share of total TV revenue that CTV is forecast to represent this year.

20 million: Number of monthly active Google TV and Android TV devices in Google’s CTV ad network.

$10.7 billion: How much money subscription-based streamers are expected to spend on programming in major European TV markets this year.

What we’ve covered

How creators Molly Burke and Tyler Oakley grew online communities through advocacy:

  • Burke and Oakley joined YouTube more than a decade ago and have expanded to platforms like Patreon and Twitch.
  • Patreon and Twitch have provided the creators with deeper connections to their audiences.

Listen to the latest Digiday Podcast episode here.

Why business publishers are finding value in social video ad revenue:

  • Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Yahoo Finance are using LinkedIn’s new video revenue-sharing program as incentive to grow their social video programs.
  • Software-as-a-service and other tech brands are getting more interested in video opportunities.

Read more about social video ad revenue here.

LinkedIn’s publisher revenue share program is entering its next phase:

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

Read more about LinkedIn’s video rev-share program here.

What we’re reading

Paramount’s parent calls off Skydance sale:

Shari Redstone won’t be selling Paramount and its parent company National Amusements to Skydance Media after all, though she still plans on selling the media company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

NBA closes in on latest TV rights deals:

The shot clock is running down on the NBA’s negotiations with TV networks and streaming services, and Amazon, Disney and NBCUniversal stand to be the big winners, though with an expected $76 billion haul, the league is the real victor, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s last-second lob at NBA rights:

TNT’s parent company is getting boxed out of scoring an NBA rights renewal, but WBD is hoping to land a small package of rights to stay in the game, according to Variety.

Reality TV’s legal dramas:

Reality TV cast members are suing the companies behind shows such as Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” and Bravo’s “Real Housewives” over claims of the companies failing to protect the cast members from various forms of harassment, according to The New York Times.

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