Blog Feed Post

TV’s Cry for Help

Welcome to the TV industry’s latest bit of magic … prestidigitalization. It’s a new twist on the old sleight-of-measurement trick. Here’s how it works. You buy TV the old-fashioned way because, well, that’s how you buy TV. The ratings suck. You want to pay less because you’re getting less. TV says, “You’re not getting less. Look at our newly crafted, data-driven metrics. We’re delivering premium audiences across omni-channel touchpoints and generating better return-on-ad-spends than ever!” If you can brush the buzzwords off your shoulder, you respond, “Yeah, but Nielsen says the ratings are down.” And TV triumphantly concludes, “Nielsen sucks! Here’s how we prestidigitally measure your success.”

Artisanal solutions don’t scale

As it turns out, TV is right. They do have newly crafted, data-driven metrics, and they can deliver premium audiences across omni-channel touchpoints, and Nielsen does suck. (Sorry Nielsen, I love you guys, I really do. I’ll defend you in a moment.)

At an unusual cross-industry meeting last week to discuss TV’s problems and ostensibly start fixing them, NBC Universal sales chief Linda Yaccarino said her company will try to wean itself off a single currency. That means Nielsen. The problem is that every TV sales group has devised artisanal, hand-crafted, un-scalable, data-driven metrics to justify your ad dollars. In some cases, metrics can even vary between different divisions of the same networks. There is no common currency that encompasses industry-accepted messaging units and the delivery of quality audiences.

Even if such a currency could be agreed upon, it would be so obviously biased toward a desired outcome, it would not have practical value. Look over there … let’s blame Nielsen!

Nielsen for better or for worse

It’s super easy to blame Nielsen for everything. Even with its investments in new technology, it has not adequately adapted to behavioral changes in media consumption­­—at least not in a way that favors TV. According to Nielsen, in 2016 (the last fully reported year) its revenues within the Watch segment (the TV ratings biz) increased 5.7 percent to $2.9 billion. Audience Measurement of Video and Text revenues increased 7.5 percent primarily due to its ongoing investments and continued client adoption of its Total Audience Measurement system. Nielsen has a de facto monopoly on ratings, and business is up, so it is not under any significant evolutionary pressure to do anything more than it is already doing.

The prestidigital smoke screen

But Nielsen is making TV look bad compared to its data-rich rivals. “If only we were measured right,” laments the TV business, “you’d see. TV is awesome.” Put another way, if we could manipulate a new metric the way we manipulate Nielsen, we could continue to charge you ungodly sums without having to deliver attributable business outcomes.

Of course, the pressure on TV ad sales is not Nielsen’s fault (although every crisis needs a villain). The blame can be placed squarely on changes in consumer behavior. While this has been prophesized for years, and everyone has agreed in theory that television viewers were evolving their behaviors, no one could agree on the timing. This is not a linear exercise; the pace of technological change is exponential and the industry is now getting an up-close-and-personal view of what an empowered consumer is (and is not) willing to put up with.

A new currency won’t solve the problem

Mass marketing and its component parts are facing an existential crisis. With enough data, machine learning tools can (and will) optimize for marketing outcomes in ways that will soon render Nielsen and other “research” companies (and departments) obsolete. If a message finds its target, and phones home about it, and an outcome is determined, there’s nothing else to know. Marketers have never wanted to buy a GRP or a CPM, they want to drive velocity or brand awareness or create purchase intent or some other metric of their own choosing. They’re not governed by how well they buy ads, they’re governed by revenue, and everyone is under extreme pressure to perform. Not to put too fine a point on it—in case you were not paying attention—today, every company is a tech company. Try to get through a meeting without using the word “data.” It is almost impossible.

The art form vs. the platform

TV, the art form, is in its platinum age. But the future present of video packaging and distribution is on-demand and digital. TV the platform simply cannot survive under its current business model. It must evolve.

Last week, Amazon introduced its new Elemental-based, AWS Media Services, an array of broadcast-quality media services that enable anyone with an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account to process, store and make money from video. You want to see real magic? “Abracadabra! You’re a broadcast-quality, omni-channel television network!” This is a level of competition the traditional TV business has not anticipated. Disney blew a zillion dollars acquiring the part of BAMTech it did not already own—just to get into the streaming business with an established technology and workflow. Give me 10 engineers and 10 weeks, and a credit card to open your AWS account, and I’ll build you 100 percent of that capability (and more) for a fraction of what Disney spent. The pace of technological change is exponential. Believe it, own it, leverage it. As for TV? It’s not time for prestidigitalization, it’s time to “presto-change-o.”

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

This article originally appeared in AdAge.

Other Articles You May Enjoy

Stop Doing Meta-Work Now!

Messy Desks Are Perfectly Optimized

Why Lose-Lose Is Almost Always A Winning Strategy

iPhone X Review

Who Should Be The President of the Internet?

Chipping People: Are You Ready?

ICOs: What You Need to Know

How Do You See the Future?

The post TV’s Cry for Help originally appeared here on Shelly Palmer

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

Latest Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Having been in the web hosting industry since 2002, dhosting has gained a great deal of experience while working on a wide range of projects. This experience has enabled the company to develop our amazing new product, which they are now excited to present! Among dHosting's greatest achievements, they can include the development of their own hosting panel, the building of their fully redundant server system, and the creation of dhHosting's unique product, Dynamic Edge.
This session will provide an introduction to Cloud driven quality and transformation and highlight the key features that comprise it. A perspective on the cloud transformation lifecycle, transformation levers, and transformation framework will be shared. At Cognizant, we have developed a transformation strategy to enable the migration of business critical workloads to cloud environments. The strategy encompasses a set of transformation levers across the cloud transformation lifecycle to enhance ...
Your job is mostly boring. Many of the IT operations tasks you perform on a day-to-day basis are repetitive and dull. Utilizing automation can improve your work life, automating away the drudgery and embracing the passion for technology that got you started in the first place. In this presentation, I'll talk about what automation is, and how to approach implementing it in the context of IT Operations. Ned will discuss keys to success in the long term and include practical real-world examples. Ge...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
So the dumpster is on fire. Again. The site's down. Your boss's face is an ever-deepening purple. And you begin debating whether you should join the #incident channel or call an ambulance to deal with his impending stroke. Yes, we know this is a developer's fault. There's plenty of time for blame later. Postmortems have a macabre name because they were once intended to be Viking-like funerals for someone's job. But we're civilized now. Sort of. So we call them post-incident reviews. Fires are ne...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
Hackers took three days to identify and exploit a known vulnerability in Equifax’s web applications. I will share new data that reveals why three days (at most) is the new normal for DevSecOps teams to move new business /security requirements from design into production. This session aims to enlighten DevOps teams, security and development professionals by sharing results from the 4th annual State of the Software Supply Chain Report -- a blend of public and proprietary data with expert researc...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 12-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI and Machine Learning to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Nutanix has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO New York, which will take place November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Nutanix makes infrastructure invisible, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform blends web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design to natively converge server, storage, virtualization and networking into a resilient, softwar...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
The digital transformation is real! To adapt, IT professionals need to transform their own skillset to become more multi-dimensional by gaining both depth and breadth of a wide variety of knowledge and competencies. Historically, while IT has been built on a foundation of specialty (or "I" shaped) silos, the DevOps principle of "shifting left" is opening up opportunities for developers, operational staff, security and others to grow their skills portfolio, advance their careers and become "T"-sh...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
ICC is a computer systems integrator and server manufacturing company focused on developing products and product appliances to meet a wide range of computational needs for many industries. Their solutions provide benefits across many environments, such as datacenter deployment, HPC, workstations, storage networks and standalone server installations. ICC has been in business for over 23 years and their phenomenal range of clients include multinational corporations, universities, and small busines...