MIAMI – Yes, digital media and traditional TV are converging, but there’s much yet to be learned about improving the advertising viewing experience across screens. Moving from impression-based metrics to understanding consumer attention will help move things along.

Some thinking holds that video is video, regardless of the platform, as sellers are more frequently combining video and TV “and selling them as one type of advertising,” says Joan Fitzgerald, a consultant who specializes in advanced TV and cross-platform data.

“But the reality is, I don’t think we’re there yet in terms of this convergence between linear television and digital video,” Fitzgerald adds in this interview at the recent Beet Retreat Miami 2017.

One reason for the remaining distance is that consumer experiences “are fundamentally different” depending on how they are consuming TV/video.

Fitzgerald, whose background includes stints at Arbitron, comScore and TiVo, cites Fox’s experimentation with six-second ad units in the industry’s quest for greater understanding of the value of unit lengths.

“The reality is, you can’t just simply say that a six-second spot is worth less than a fifteen or a thirty because it’s shorter. There are many more dynamics in play from the consumer experience,” says Fitzgerald.

Meanwhile, impression metrics still reign supreme, even though advances are being made to link exposure to advertiser business outcomes. The key is being able to place a tangible value on viewer attention.

“We haven’t yet as an industry gotten beyond this notion of opportunity to see and an impression as a metric to something that might be more meaningful to the marketer,” says Fitzgerald.

Asked about video completion rates as a barometer of viewer attention, she says there’s “really a question as to how often a completion actually occurs on a fifteen or a thirty or a sixty just because the measurement tools that we’ve traditionally used really don’t measure that granularity. There are companies trying to measure completion rates, but it’s an art and not a science at this point.”

This video was produced at the Beet Retreat Miami, 2017 presented by Videology along with Alphonso and 605. For more videos from the event, please visit this page.