AdTech on Deck: Currency vs. Measurement

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Ahoy there, marketers. Welcome to the latest edition of our blog series, AdTech on Deck, where we try to demystify complicated topics (and the sea of acronyms) in our space. PS — Check out last month's Ad Tech on Deck: VPAID vs VAST for more.


Let’s face it — TV currency isn’t what it used to be (and that’s a good thing). While advertisers went into this year’s upfronts with zero Media Ratings Council-accredited currency to guide them, it also marked a time of great opportunity for the buy- and sell-sides alike.

The TV industry is shifting to a more evolved concept of currency that addresses what advertisers actually want to know — not program viewership as a proxy for ad exposure — rather, the true reach and impact of campaigns on viewers.

But while the road to multiple currencies dominates headlines, it’s important not to conflate the terms “currency” and “measurement,” as they are very different things. 

Currency ≠ Measurement 

“Currency” is a measurement metric that has traditionally been related to household-level viewership at scale. More simply, it is one in which buyers and sellers agree to transact on. 

“Measurement” is much broader, encompassing not only currency, but actionable, cross-platform reach, outcomes and audience insights that are then used to inform and optimize the video mix. 

Keeping Up (or Not) with the Pace of Change 

In the past, media buyers purchased ad spots linked to programs, then Nielsen informed buyers of the number of viewers reached. However, in today’s converged TV world, legacy systems cannot fully capture the actual reach of programming across time, platforms, channels, and more.

As a result, TV’s currency, once linked to programs, is moving to impressions. And this is a positive change, as impressions more accurately reflect the true basis of advertising value — how many viewers ads reached.

When it comes to converged TV measurement, approximating reach via more accurate forms of currency is just the start …

More Advanced Measurement Changing the Game 🙌

Accurately understanding reach, which modern-day currency reflects, is great, but it’s just one advertising objective.

Marketers want to understand optimal frequency for ads too, having more control of how they manage effective reach across households and audiences. They also want to achieve outcomes — both online and offline — sales, app downloads, and in-store traffic (to name just a few). Ultimately, isn’t advertising about growing a business? And that requires accurate and timely analytics to maximize reach and drive transactions? 

You see, understanding TV’s reach and impact falls under the realm of measurement, not currency.

For today’s advertisers, knowing the ways measurement exceeds traditional currency and strengthens and informs their capabilities for cross-platform precision helps to maximize the value of converged TV campaigns.


InnovidXP: Your measurement superpower — Curious about measurement in the new converged TV marketplace? Check out our cross-platform measurement tool InnovidXP to help you reach and engage audiences across every screen.