By Travis Hockersmith, VP of Platform+, VIZIO
The world is becoming increasingly digital, and TV along with it.
Having seen the benefits of digital advertising across the internet, advertisers have come to expect similar features for TV advertising, as well. That includes better audience targeting and segmentation, better reporting and measurement, and better ad-buying capabilities.
CTV as a whole certainly delivers on most of these demands. But as several recent studies have shown, there’s still some work needed on the viewability front.
Just last week, WPP’s GroupM released a study with ad-measurement firm iSpot.tv that shows up to 17% of ads served through streaming peripheral devices are played while the TV is off. It’s a similar stat to that released by DoubleVerify earlier this year that estimated one in four ads served through HDMI-connected devices aren’t seen because the TV isn’t on.
This is not a problem on our platform, since VIZIO and other smart TVs host streaming apps and services that do not require a peripheral device to stream, largely removing the disconnect between ads sent to the service vs displayed on the device.
But for any environment involving the connection of a box or peripheral device to the TV, the reality of overcounted ads remains an issue that the industry at large must address. This has long been an issue even in the linear TV world, where viewing data is still often collected at the set-top box even if the TV is turned off. The same goes for many streaming apps connected to the TV through peripheral inputs… the app thinks it’s still streaming, but the TV set is off.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to work with partners that provide verification across delivery formats. After all, advertisers want assurances that their ads are in fact seen, not just delivered. VIZIO has the unique advantage of providing both the hardware and the software that powers our smart TVs, combined with our Inscape glass-level ACR data, which provides glass-level verification for advertising campaigns.
That means while other solutions try to guess whether viewers are still engaged based on session duration or other workarounds, we know for certain what the TV glass is displaying at any given time—programming or ads—regardless of whether it comes from CTV, linear, or other sources. With glass-level ACR data, there’s no guessing involved.
This same glass-level ACR data from Inscape that powers our direct-to-device offering is also the backbone of the current measurement and currency movement. Brands and agencies trust our glass-level data to validate viewership and attribute business outcomes.
Inscape’s panel of 20 million devices also served as a truth set for the iSpot/GroupM study, and VIZIO is joining the two organizations to bring new standards to CTV measurement and verification. Additionally, NBCU, Disney, Tubi, Paramount, and the broader industry and agency community are now publicly supporting new standards for viewability and verification in the streaming marketplace.
At VIZIO, we’re continuously expanding our toolkit to ensure advertisers are getting full transparency and validation of their investment. This includes things like watermarking technology that resides inside Inscape’s ACR database to offer advertisers another layer of assurance that ads are delivered in a brand-safe environment, viewable, and the TV is turned on.
Brands conducting CTV campaigns naturally will want assurances that their message is being delivered to real, live audiences, not blind apps or dark screens. Our industry-leading ACR data is uniquely suited to serve as a truth and verification set to validate advertising inventory and spend.