CANNES – Call it television, video or neither. What matters to ESPN’s Eric Johnson is that it delivers “value and impact” to advertisers.
Like other attendees of the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Johnson welcomed the many conversations about how the industry can come together and drive more effective ways of measurement.
“We’re trading on a CPM currency that maybe is not the most optimal for trying to make television or video look like something that you can understand what the ROI is,” Johnson, who is EVP of Global Advertising Revenue at ESPN, says in this interview with Beet.TV.
He’s not alone when he acknowledges that video is being evaluated differently on different platforms, be it a 30-second TV spot, a pre-roll or a six-second video without sound. “But the allocation of what the value is of each of those components matters,” Johnson says. “At ESPN, we’re measuring the value and impact of a video ad, agnostic of whatever screen it’s on.”
When you add live streaming, all manner of opportunities arise. Not to mention breaking out from standard ratings constructs.
“What’s most important to me about live sports is that it’s absolutely unique to anything else that’s in the market,” he says. “There is nothing that exists from a content delivery standpoint that delivers so many people that are 98% consuming live.”
For advertisers, it’s an opportunity to truly be in the moment. “You’re not getting it aggregated with seven days or 14 days or 35 days. You’re getting it in that live moment.”
ESPN’s streaming content carries pass-through ads from ESPN1 and ESPN2 along with ads that are dynamically inserted.
“So I think we have the best of both worlds available to marketers. We can talk about it like television or talk about it like video or use neither of those terms,” Johnson says. “Addressability is coming and OTT is allowing us to be able to understand that space. This is something that we’re going to make sure we continue to invest in.”