NEW YORK: The growth of digital tools and technologies will help make television advertising even more measurable going forwards, a new paper published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has argued. Measuring Television in the Programmatic Age: Why Television Measurement Methods Are Shifting toward Digital appears as part of a "What We Know About Television Advertising Now" section in the latest issue of JAR.

"How can the viewing of television commercials be measured effectively when tens of millions of people are watching a myriad of program options on different platforms?" Gian Fulgoni, Co-Founder/CEO of comScore, and Andrew Lipsman, the company's VP/Marketing, asked.

And the answer to this question, according to the two measurement gurus, is as follows: "Through precision measurement of advanced audiences on an unduplicated basis across platforms."

The consequences for marketers will be significant. "Cumulative metrics of reach, frequency, and gross rating points will be calculated on a more granular basis, so that campaigns can be planned and evaluated with an understanding of how quickly their target audiences can be reached," Fulgoni and Lipsman wrote.

For digital tracking, "measurement must increasingly standardise around daily and weekly reporting." And, in turn, television needs to stand up to the potential of new platform-agnostic metrics with "standardisation around more narrowly defined audience segments."

The two comScore authors agree, "At the end of the day, what advertisers care about is how many people are actually reached by a campaign. Average-minute audience is the prevailing metric on television, because it is a very close proxy for how many people are tuned in when a commercial is airing.

"On digital, the cumulative-reach metric really represents the total potential reach, but there is often a significant gap between that number and how many people are actually reached by an advertisement running on a site or app."

Data sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by WARC staff