This much is happening: TV measurement is becoming more precise. Talk of GRPs and metering is shifting to specific household and device metrics. Still, even as more Americans watch connected TVs and marketers buy addressable inventory, viewability and attention – concepts that are commonplace in digital advertising – have been elusive. How can brands know that people are actively watching shows that they have on? This is what TVision, a New York-based startup, is trying to solve.
TVision has technology installed in 5,000 households across the U.S. and is able to track how many people are in the room and who is paying attention to programming and advertising. In addition to viewability and attention, TVision employs a Creative Attention Score, which measures a specific ad’s ability to capture audience attention compared to surrounding ad content.
For more on TVision, its place within the TV analytics space, and how brands are beginning to optimize for attention, we spoke with Luke McGuinness, President of TVision:
Found Remote: There are an increasing number of TV measurement companies in the space that have deterministic data for millions of households in the U.S. – with that, how does TVision stand out?
Luke McGuinness: Not all TV data is the same. What we at TVision do is incredibly unique in terms of the type of data we collect and the value that data provides to our clients.
Unlike other forms of TV data, which are typically collected from devices delivering content such as smart TVs or set-top-boxes, our data is collected from our own proprietary technology that we deploy in people’s homes across the country to understand how people actually watch TV.
Our technology and data enable us to create means of measuring TV that have, until now, not been possible. TVision measures at the person-level, second-by-second, enabling us to capture data about a critical reality of television watching – often the TV is on when no one is in the room and, if they are, they may not be paying attention. Our clients are able to measure this, and then optimize for it to maximize the impact of every TV dollar.
Since we have developed a completely proprietary solution, TVision is not tied to a single manufacturer of television (i.e. Vizio or Samsung) or cable company, and extends beyond linear TV. TVision measures linear, VOD, and Streaming/OTT, by application (Hulu, Netflix, HBO, etc) and device (Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire, etc.).
FR: What has TVision uncovered about how people interact with OTT and streaming ads compared to linear ones?
McGuinness: TV consumption is changing and brands, marketers, networks and content creators are all trying to understand and react to the shift. Our Streaming Analytics solution provides market intelligence on consumer streaming behavior – providing granular metrics on streaming content across leading applications and devices. This empowers brands, networks and content providers with sought-after, person-level behavioral analytics.
For example, TVision’s data shows that for the Amazon Original Series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” 22% of July’s streaming views were individuals re-watching episodes – likely linked to the upcoming release of Season 2. In addition, the show’s co-viewing rate was only 15% – below typical co-viewing rates for original streaming content – indicating high solo viewership.
At the device level, TVision also identifies streaming application usage across specific OTT devices. For example, households with Chromecasts spend a greater percentage of their time watching YouTube (23%) than households using Roku devices (14%).
Beyond TVision’s new Streaming Analytics measurement solution, TVision and Roku recently worked together, debuting research at the ARF AudienceXScience conference. Key findings were that, across all dayparts, OTT ad attention is higher than linear. This makes sense, as OTT viewing is almost entirely intentional and on-demand.
FR: Why should brands and advertisers be excited about what TVision is doing?
McGuinness: The feedback we often get from brands is something along the lines of “I didn’t even know this was possible.”
We have made TV advertising measurement at least as granular and actionable as digital measurement. Advertisers have long known that TV advertising works, but they’d lacked detailed information about how, why and when it works. At TVision, we’re providing advertisers with the means to truly understand, at a person level, when viewers are being reached and when they are paying attention to their ads. Attention is the basis for any advertising outcome, and the means to optimize for it is the means to optimize for all downstream advertising outcomes.
Brands using TVision data are increasing their efficiency and ensuring more of their campaign targets are seeing their ads. These marketers are saving millions of dollars across their campaigns, optimizing for impact and seeing a bigger return on the TV investments.
FR: According to a recent TVision report, Volvo created the “most engaging ad in H1 2019.” What goes into TVision’s methodology for determining whether an ad is engaging or viewable?
McGuinness: According to IPG Media Lab’s recent study on TV Viewability, only 71% of ads on TV are Viewable, and a smaller percentage of those actually capture viewer Attention. We measure ad Attention as the percentage of all ad impressions in which the viewer was looking at the TV screen for two or more seconds.
In the first half of 2019, we saw that Volvo’s creative performed really well – meaning it broke through and captured more attention than the other ads that appeared in its same pod. We call this measurement Creative Attention Score (CAS) – a measurement of breakthrough independent of the media environment. Of course, every brand marketer wants to make great TV advertising that engages their target consumers. CAS allows marketers to better understand the quality of the creative itself, isolated from contextual factors like when the ad airs and the show it runs inside. Using these unique, person-level, second-by-second metrics, Volvo was shown to have the most engaging TV ad of 2019’s first half, with a CAS of 114.0 in a spot for its S60 sedan. This was the top scorer across all 15 and 30-second ads, for all viewers, across every channel and daypart.
FR: While TVision’s data is certainly unique, how is 5,000 households enough of a representative sample size to measure attention and viewability? Isn’t this why Nielsen’s data is so routinely criticized?
McGuinness: What we do is very different than Nielsen. We are not creating the type of information they create and we view what we do as quite complementary to what they do. Our focus is on national advertisers and our data volumes are more than sufficient to address their needs with accurate and nationally representative data.