Measurement Issues With Location-Based Video Networks

The Incidental Video Screen Is Seen by More Viewers Than Prime Time (New York Times)

Location-Based Ad in ElevatorVideo screens showing television programs are popping up everywhere.  Screens are now found in such venues as gas stations, elevators, doctor’s offices, and public restrooms.  The screens are so ubiquitous that new research suggests a huge number of people are regularly exposed to video screens outside the home.  And this does not even count computer screens. The implications for advertisers may be significant as they try to determine where to direct their promotional dollars.

This  advertising channel, dubbed location-based advertising, is currently dominated by specialized networks that carry programming and handle the delivery of ads.  However, as this story mentions, these location-based programming networks have a problem.  The problem is how to show advertisers how many people view these networks since an industry accepted audience measurement does not yet exist.  The apparent logjam seems to rest with Nielsen, the leading auditor of television viewing data, which has only now begun to recognize the special viewing situations faced by these networks.  This issue is critical because a standardized viewing measurement is needed to enable the networks and advertisers to determine advertising rates.

The networks have been pushing Nielsen to create a standard measurement so that they can better sell their ad time to agencies. “The agencies ask, ‘Why are you better, why should I take some money and not run it on traditional television or somewhere else, and run it with you?’ ” said David Leider, chief executive of Gas Station TV. “If there’s no legitimate measurement behind it, there’s no point for an agency or client to look at it.”

This story presents both sides of the argument for having standardized measures.  Which side appears to have the stronger position?

Image by minusbaby

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