Cross-screen viewing of television and video content, which were dominant themes during recent Upfront and Newfront media company presentations, drive home the need for a variety of data sources. “The key message,” says Magna Global North America President David Cohen, “is we are in a world where a single-source provider simply is not sufficient based on the wide range of content and platforms that we have to cover.”

In an interview with Beet.TV, Cohen says that while it’s easy to knock industry ratings leader Nielsen, the reality is that complexity is the driving force behind the emergence of alternate data sources.

“As the world gets increasingly more complex, it is very hard to get a good sampling of the wide range of content and audiences both at work and at home,” Cohen says.

Reflecting on the Upfronts and Newfronts, Cohen speaks of the established TV providers “sort of poking at kind of the big bad digital bear” and wryly notes the former’s attempt to promote the value of TV audiences as inherently better than digital audiences. “There’s this idea of a subprime…there’s primetime and then there’s subprime,” he says with a smile.

Lest anyone mistake his intent, Cohen believes one of the biggest headlines was when Magna Global, a unit of Interpublic Group, said it would shift $250 million of its clients’ TV advertising dollars to, yes, digital video. Specifically, to YouTube, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

Referring to the industry debate over the importance of audience or environment for TV and video content, Cohen cuts to the chase. “We found that you can have your cake and eat it too. You can have the right audience in the right context and that’s where we typically get the best results,” he says.

This interview is part of a series on the future of TV analytics and measurement sponsored by TiVo Research. Please visit this page for additional segments.

The Revolution in TV Measurement and Analytics, presented by Tivo Research