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Can TV grow up? Content in a multi-screen world

By November 30, 2016 No Comments

Professionally produced content matters.  It doesn’t require deep analysis of the take-home pay of movie stars, professional athletes, and entertainers to realize this.  There are only so many “keyboard cat” videos and live streams of people walking through puddles one can take before wanting to watch a good movie, documentary, concert, sporting event, or television show.  It’s why billions are spent on the Olympics, NFL football, Hollywood blockbusters, and it’s why AT&T wants Time Warner for $85 billion.

While there has been much ink spilled on the profusion of online content, and the decline of traditional television viewing as we know it, the total picture is more complicated.  Last year a record number (409) of original scripted television series premiered on U.S. broadcast, cable and online services, according to the research department of FX Networks. That number is nearly double the number of scripted shows from just six years ago (when there were 211). (New York Times, 17 Dec 2015)

At the same time, consider that on average more video content is uploaded every 30 days than all three major U.S. TV networks combined have created in 30 years. (Statistic from

So, professionally generated content and user generated content alike are growing in leaps and bounds.

TV still matters even as platforms change, viewing habits evolve, and content proliferates beyond most viewers’ ability to sift through it all.  To put it in perspective, TV advertising revenue in the U.S. last year was $73 Billion, whereas online video advertising was $7.56 Billion.  (,

Behind all these facts and figures there remains a truism: advertisers and marketers want to know they are reaching an “audience” that is receptive to their product(s).

Increasingly, with programmatic advertising, one can buy an “audience” for one’s product.  The efficiency of this relationship will determine the cost, and relative value, of professionally produced content and user generated content alike.

So how does one buy an “audience”?  And how does one measure the value of the content in comparison with the cost?

The solution is audience measurement.

Through the science of total audience measurement, all content alike can be measured and monetized, across platforms and devices, viewed anytime, anywhere, by anyone.  With the right tools and associated metrics, TV revenues can efficiently be realized via viewership on new platforms.  Without these measures, traditional television viewership will erode, while the online video experience will remain frustratingly uneven.

In a new white paper, The Key to Unlocking New Revenues from Video Services in a Multi-Screen World, Alan Breznick of Heavy Reading describes both the challenge and opportunity of audience fragmentation in a rapidly evolving video ecosystem.  Audience Measurement solutions are needed more than ever, to aid in customer segmentation for more relevant advertising, and to improve video service providers’ content negotiation strategies with content providers.

Viewers rights’ must be protected, and data governance and privacy are a critical aspect of every service providers’ solution in this space.  With the right tools, however, content will continue to flourish, and viewers will increasingly find appealing content more readily available than ever before.

The audience is watching.  How will our industry perform?