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What Disruption Sounds Like

5 things that are shifting in the media industry

As leading media minds bustled into Google’s NYC Chelsea Tech Talk room on October 19th, a shared question weighed on everyone’s mind, “How do I adapt and excel as the world around me is changing?” Executives in the room represented ABC, AT&T, Comcast, A&E, Verizon, Lionsgate, amongst others.

Each person sat attentively and listened to what thought leaders from Google, Viacom, HBO, FuboTV, Samba, and comScore had to say about how addressability and measurement are shaping the evolving media landscape. I sat amongst these media giants and absorbed as much information as possible. Here are the themes of disruption and opportunity that ran throughout.

1. Should OTT be bought and measured using digital or television metrics?

As media buyers are learning to adapt to OTT, organizations on the sell side still need to be flexible in the metrics they use. Some buyers are making requests using digital metrics and some using traditional television metrics. Despite the current flexibility in this evolving landscape, everyone could agree that the use of GRP (Gross Rating Point) as a metric was hard to justify.

2. Achieving more accurate measurement was a theme throughout the event.

Speakers all looked to a future state where we measure all media holistically and buy impressions and audiences, not spots. This offers more segmented, targeted and valuable ad placement.

3. Are OTT platforms going to just become more walled gardens?

While there are certainly third-party, multi-touch attribution platforms that can help to alleviate this, OTT providers must also consider the privacy of their users. Balancing privacy, advertiser data needs, and the trend towards walled gardens, were on the discussion floor. One fact rang out – consumers do not mind sharing their data as long as it ensures them a better experience.

4. The age of the single unified panel is over (almost).

The traditional media researcher must now be a data scientist.  

5. Today, about 50 million households and growing have OTT and according to comScore, they consume it in the same time of day pattern as traditional TV viewers.  

With disrupting start-ups such as FuboTV and the addition of sports livestreaming on both Twitter and Facebook, the live sports underpinning of the full bundle is starting to look shaky.

These disrupting factors are changing the media industry at its core. But they are also creating a significant opportunity for new entrants, innovation, a better viewing experience, and an evolution in traditional market that has done too little to change in the last half decade.

Learn more about how Merkle works with media industry clients.