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Total video and 3rd party data neutrality

Anja Bundze May 28, 2024 5:42:39 PM
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Earlier this spring, we invited several leaders from Canadian agencies, broadcasters, and ad tech to speak with us about our industry’s progress toward total video measurement, digital representation, cross-platform planning and 3rd party neutrality. 
Below are key highlights from our panel on Total Video, which comprised:

  • Spencer Charters, VP, Advertising Products, Insights and Partnerships, Corus Entertainment
  • Deb Gurofsky, VP Partnerships, Blue Ant Media
  • Jeremy Simpson, Managing Director, Omnicom Media Group
  • Jeff Thibodeau, President, Publicis
  • Sabrina Segal, Director, Advanced Advertising & National Sales, Bell
  • Moderator: Stu Girgins, VP, Enterprise, Nexxen


Definition of Total Video

Total Video includes traditional long-form linear television broadcasts, episodic streaming video, and shorter-form video found on websites, and social media platforms including user-generated content (UGC).

This definition acknowledges the evolving nature of video production and consumption, recognizing that consumers engage with video across various screens and platforms and in multiple lengths and formats across audience demos.




Current challenges around Total Video

1. Fragmentation

The panelists agreed that although progress has been made by broadcasters to promote and sell content across different channels, agencies and advertisers still find the process disjointed.
Jeff pointed out the persistence of siloed approaches leading to inconsistent standards,

“I still have a traditional TV buyer buying linear, a digital buyer, a social buyer.…there is no unified currency, no unified measurement.” 

While there's talk of upskilling teams to transact across different methods and platforms, ensuring a holistic approach, the focus is on integrating data. This is crucial for bringing everything together. It highlights the ongoing challenges of inconsistent buying and assessment methods, stressing the need for standardized measurement.
Sabrina summed it up:

“Data is the common thread between platforms.”

2. Value of an impression

The conversation delved into the challenge of evaluating ad impressions across various channels within a single campaign from an omnichannel perspective. Deb explained that premium video content stands out due to its ability to hold viewers' attention, commanding higher CPMs and offering superior quality spots shown on large screens with sound on, often unskippable ad units.

The panelists emphasized the importance of capturing attention in environments conducive to engagement, introducing the concept of attentive reach as a key metric for evaluating advertising effectiveness. Jeff felt the reach metric has become somewhat lost in the transition from linear to digital. While digital media provides extensive measurability, there's a perceived decline in emphasis on quality content compared to traditional linear formats, and the group agreed that there is a need to rejuvenate the focus on premium content within the digital landscape.


The importance of 3rd party data neutrality

The  panelists focused on the importance of using data from outside sources to make advertising work smoothly across different platforms and publishers. They want to make sure their clients can work well with all kinds of video content, whether it's on TV or online.
Jeremy felt the missing piece is the standardization of measurement. He goes on to explain that having standard ways to measure things would help make campaigns more successful, but he also thinks it's important for agencies to bring their own data and audience insights to the table.

Broadcasters also see the value in standard measurement, but they're looking at using data from other sources to give their clients a fuller picture. Spencer mentioned their work with NLogic to understand how many people see Corus’ clients’ ads across different platforms. They're trying to answer practical questions like, "What's the benefit of advertising on different channels, and how many people will see my ads if I use both traditional and online TV?" They are working with NLogic to figure out these questions because there hasn't been a good way to check this independently before.

Overall, everyone agreed that using third-party data enables their analysis and decision-making to be fair, trustworthy, and reliable.


Predictions for the next 12 months

girl silhouette


  1. Get ready for a wave of awesome Canadian content distributed widely to grow audiences
  2. Say goodbye to exclusive clubs with walled gardens diminishing and more companies opening-up
  3. Complete your buys in record time with fewer barriers and increased transparency across the supply chain

In conclusion, the panel shed light on some of the pressing challenges and promising opportunities around total video measurement. As the industry continues to navigate the complexities of fragmentation and strives for unified standards, the call for 3rd party data neutrality emerged as a cornerstone for fair and reliable decision-making.

With predictions pointing towards a future of increased transparency, wider distribution of Canadian content, and a more inclusive advertising landscape, it's evident that collaboration and innovation will be key drivers in shaping the future of video advertising in Canada and beyond.