CIMM, 4As, TVB To Study Ways To Evolve Local Measurement

 measuring tape
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The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the TVB said they launched a study that will assess local TV measurement in the U.S. and develop an action plan to make improvements.

The group has hired Sequent Partners to work on the project.

The effort to study local ratings comes as the big media companies are moving to set up a Joint Industry Committee to develop standards for national audience measurement.

“The growth of new platforms has increased the supply of data in the market, opening up new opportunities for measurement, advanced audience buying and attribution,” said Jon Watts, managing director at CIMM.

“However, there is increasing industry sentiment that these opportunities are unevenly distributed and often unavailable at scale in every local market – and that there is limited coordination on requirements and priorities amongst different players,” Watts said. “Based on discussions with CIMM’s members, we’ve seen considerable interest and enthusiasm in undertaking an initiative such as this to develop a coordinated response to current challenges and an action plan for local TV measurement in the US. As a non-partisan, pan-industry Coalition, CIMM is uniquely well positioned to undertake this initiative, working closely and collaboratively with the TVB and the 4A's. We're confident that a collaborative effort like this one can help the industry to make real progress.”

“Our members continue to seek an accurate way to measure and maximize the investments they make on behalf of their advertiser clients. We are excited to partner with CIMM and the TVB in this study to explore local measurement challenges and develop an action plan that will work for all parties involved in a local TV transaction,” added Ashwini Karandikar, executive VP, media, technology & data at the 4As.

Local stations have long complained that local measurement has been based on very small sample sizes and Nielsen’s local ratings system is not currently accredited by the Media Rating Council. Comscore has been adding customers for its local ratings, which are largely based on cable set-top data.

“Local should move away from buying on age/gender demographics and move towards using audience demographic data,” said Patti Cohen senior VP, research at CBS. "Local can provide clients targeted audience buying. Local needs to move towards Cross Platform and we know that local provides a strong reach and our streaming platforms have strong engagement with viewers. All of this will require a step change in measurement – and we’re hopeful that this new initiative can help to determine how best to move forward from here.”

“I strongly endorse this initiative as it will serve as a critical first step towards advancing local measurement to meet the current, as well as, future needs of buyers and sellers,” said Betsy Rella, VP of research & data at NY Interconnect. “I encourage industry leaders to be active participants in shaping the requirements, methodologies, systems, and processes needed for accurate, stable, and reliable measurement.”

“In an increasingly complex media landscape, standardization is crucial, and this initiative is leading the way in establishing consistent, reliable measurement practices that will benefit the entire industry,” said Keith Kazerman, president of Gamut.  ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.