Marketers and media companies need to think differently about measurement if they’re to exploit the full potential of today’s TV ecosystem, says Freewheel’s Julie Selman.

Changing viewing habits are expanding the TV ecosystem – with linear, pay and digital content viewed via the TV set, mobile and beyond. In the UK alone, 24% of households subscribe to multiple connected TV services and over half (52%) use at least one paid-for over-the-top (OTT) platform.

This in turn provides new opportunities for marketers and content providers, enabling them to extend reach across screens and maximise returns. Realising the potential of today’s TV market, however, requires comprehensive insight, and commercial strategies need to be guided by a clear view of the most valuable channels, and models.

As a result, marketers and media companies must adopt a new approach to measurement.

1. Unifying marketing channels

While the living-room set remains central – absorbing 70% of UK viewing time – it is now only one of many screens used to access a mix of content. For marketers, going beyond traditional TV to buy across multiple channels is key to increasing reach and sales.

Obtaining information across these channels can be challenging. While a single campaign may encompass varied types of viewing – such as linear TV, video on-demand (VOD), and OTT – it is frequently evaluated in silos, with each system using different metrics. As a result, marketers sometimes have a limited understanding of overall advertising effectiveness or how linear and digital can be used to complement each other and drive the greatest engagement.

Overcoming this hurdle requires a shift towards holistic measurement, where high-quality data from multiple channels is blended to deliver a complete view of performance. Fortunately, this isn’t as difficult as it seems. Advanced tools are emerging that provide seamless planning, buying and measurement across premium TV environments. These platforms provide the insight marketers need to help them select the frequency levels, channels, messages and platforms that will provide maximum returns.

2. Exploring monetisation models

As TV viewing becomes more fluid, opportunities are also arising for content providers to expand revenue. Existing models offer a straight choice between advertising, transaction and subscription – with advertising and e-commerce managed by different teams or considered mutually exclusive. There is also a tendency to focus on how revenue is fuelled – rather than content value. Both of these factors limit the flexibility and yield of monetisation strategies.

Addressing this calls for changes in both outlook and existing monetisation models. Content providers need to break down existing barriers and embrace a holistic method of revenue creation that alternates between different models.

Providers must leverage tools that allow them to pool information about the value driven by different content and models into a shared database, and predict the results varying combinations will deliver. This might involve comparing the likely cost per thousand impressions (CPM) they could reach with an ad-supported model to the probable income produced by subscription fees. By evaluating the profitability and practicality of monetisation models for linear, streaming services and catch-up TV, they can ensure steady income and cater for the developing needs of marketers. An integrated TV future

The convergence of the TV landscape means there is more to be gained from unification than single-track advertising or monetisation. Although linear and digital have independent strengths, their collective power to boost awareness and influence is far greater. To stand the best chance of driving high returns and engagement, marketing strategy should be based on a complete view of which channels work best for their target audience, and not solely bottom line.

Similarly, content providers must recognise that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ for effective monetisation. By using holistic measurement that calculates the specific value each model offers across every viewing window, they can ensure multi-channel success and the best possible yield.