LOS ANGELES – Tracking cross-platform viewership to ensure that advertising reaches its intended audience has become much more sophisticated as marketers, agencies, media outlets and measurement companies combine their consumer data in various ways. The goal is to create a “common currency” that helps to unify the measurement of audience exposure among traditional channels like linear television and newer digital platforms.

David Levy, CEO of audience targeting platform OpenAP, has been working toward that goal of providing advertisers with a way to reach consumers based on more granular data rather than broader demographic characteristics like age and gender.

“We’ve been very focused on how we break the silos for audience-based buying,” he said in this interview with Beet.TV. “We can now confidently say that that reality is here. We can make it just as easy for you to buy on your sophisticated audience segment as it is to buy on a broad demo.”

The company a year go launched the OpenAP Market, an open marketplace to guarantee audience delivery among premium TV programming on linear and digital platforms. Founded in 2017 by a consortium of television publishers, OpenAP’s members include AMC Networks, Fox, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, Univision and The Weather Channel.

To provide guaranteed reach on linear and digital, OpenAP in the past six months has been working with measurement companies to provide richer datasets that support audience-based targeting.

“We all have to work together to really get to an outcome where you can actually measure who you’re reaching across different platforms and how you actually optimize your campaigns across platforms,” Levy said.

Commingling Data

Viewership data can come from a variety of sources, including automatic content recognition (ACR) information from media devices, set-top boxes and consumer panels. Combining the three sources provides a more robust view of audience viewing habits.

“We believe strongly that companies need to be using all three of them — and have good mechanisms to commingle those datasets and normalize that data,” Levy said.

Source: Interactive Advertising Bureau

The information helps to determine reach and frequency across screens, and supports deterministic media buys that are more focused than probabilistic efforts. With 70% of media buyers saying their budgets are in flux for 2021 because of the pandemic, according to a study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the data can help to make better decisions.

Levy foresees growing collaboration in the media and marketing industries to create a common currency.

“We’re engaging with multiple currency providers at the moment, and are really pressing them to work with us on solutions,” Levy said, adding that publishers also are doing their part to reach common goals. “It’s incumbent upon us to actually come with resources, too. We’re not going to solve everything immediately, but if we can start making these small steps toward meaningful change across screen, we should be successful.”

This video is part of Advancing Toward a Common TV Measurement Currency, a Beet.TV leadership series presented by Comscore. For more videos from the series, please visit this page.