LOS ANGELES — It used to be so simple. Nielsen’s meter panel was the single gold standard by which the industry measured TV viewing.

In the connected TV era, many are coming to think that is no longer desirable.

The flip side, however, could be the unleashing of countless new currencies on an industry already growing weary of fragmentation.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, one industry leader suggests the industry should let hundreds of new currencies bloom.

Living with digital proliferation

“I feel for our friends at Nielsen right now,” says Samba TV founder Ashin Navin, whose own company was once sued by Nielsen. “But it feels like we’re all in a very different world now.

“We’ve got an industry that’s (already) adopted multiple currencies in the most rigorous environment, which is digital and programmatic.

“TV is now existing in a different paradigm that feels a lot more digital than it has historically.

“There’s many (currencies) in digital and we expect the same thing to happen in TV.”

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Currency multiplication

Navin says currency proliferation will work for advertisers.

“It’s going to present an amazing amount of business outcomes if measured correctly and driven correctly,” he says.

“And so for every category and for every vertical, there’s going to be a currency that makes sense for that client, including the client’s own first-party data.”

Multiple currencies plus the rich engagement of a medium like TV add up to a “best of both worlds”, Navin says.

But, around the industry, people are expressing weariness that, to leverage the targeting, measuring and frequency-capping power of connected TV, they are having to do it across a fragmented range of options, to piece together the pieces into a whole-market campaign solution.

The Post-Meter Future Is Multi-Currency: Samba TV’s Navin

Thinking beyond Nielsen

For Samba TV’s Navin, however, it is an inevitability.

“(The) fact is that our lives have changed,” he says. “We’re coming out of a pandemic. What was truthful in the 1950s and the 20th century, about the fact that we were all gathered around one screen every night at prime time, is (a) pretty far cry from reality today.

“We’re watching video on many screens, including long-form television and movies. And then we’ve got movie theatres who basically said ‘we’re not open’.

“(Nielsen) were able to maintain a currency for a long time.

“We really need to think about what is the next-generation currency, what’s going to replicate the stability that Nielsen had for 70 years in its first-party data?”

Samba’s rhythm

Samba TV has software embedded in smart TV devices from 24 companies, giving it insight on “46 million addressable TV devices globally powering the world’s largest end-to-end viewership data and household identity graph”, according to the company.

After initially just offering access to viewing data from automatic content recognition (ACR), the company has expanded its offering.

This summer, it launched its own SambaID. Now the company has two currencies of its own.

But the company has also partnered with the likes of Comscore, Kantar and Lucid to work with other currencies, too.

You are watching coverage from Beet Retreat Santa Monica 2021, presented by FreeWheel, IRIS.TV, Samba TV, TransUnion & Warner Music Group. For more videos, please visit this page.