Samba Data Integrated Into Google Marketing Platform

Samba TV said its measurement system has been integrated into the Google Marketing Platform, giving media companies the ability to measure how much cross-platform viewing lift they get from tune-in campaigns using Google and YouTube ads.

Samba’s analytics are available in real time through Google Campaign Manager, allowing media companies to optimize campaigns while in flight.

The integration is the result of more than a year of talks with Google and opens the door to third-party measurement of the return on investment on campaigns run with the digital giant.

Samba has been conducting beta tests of the integration for the past 12 months, measuring 40 campaigns for 14 clients including AT&T's Turner unit.

In one case study, it was discovered that the cost per tune-in for YouTube Masthead ads was 20% lower than the campaign average and that the tune-in rate increased by 40% when adhering to the frequency benchmarks.

“The integration between Samba and Google Campaign Manager has provided Turner an ability to validate media investment across the Google ecosystem,” said Marie Hughes, senior VP of strategic media planning for Turner Media Group. “Having a clear view of measurement against such a critical performance indicator like tune-in conversion has been a game changer for our brands, as it allows Turner to refine our media tactics and make strategic pivots into our best-performing audiences.”

Samba TV’s methodology links cross-screen ad exposure to a its TV viewing data, which comes from nearly 20 million smart TVs.

“The timing couldn't be better because going the upfront this year people are going to be asking questions about cross-platform best practices,” said Ashwin Navin, CEO, and co-founder of Samba TV. “People want more transparency into how these big walled gardens are performing and Google has taken a leadership step here and is saying we're willing to work with third party data sets to be able to create that transparency into how Google performs.”

The integration gives the industry the kind of closed-loop measurement marketers need to get a good handle on the return on investment for their campaigns. TV tune-in is tricky to measure because it results in viewing activity that is mainly off-line and in addition to advertising on Google, programmers do many other forms of tune-in advertising at the same time.

“Samba was the first to invent a methodology that drives toward causality in the attribution method,” Navin said. “We actually can see that there are some viewers who are going to watch the show any way, regardless of their TV ad exposure, and some that were uniquely influenced by linear TV, and some that were uniquely influenced by digital promotion, and separate those out into separate groups and see what the combinations drove as well.”

Samba’s system can help TV marketers answer questions such as when should a network start promoting shows and which types of ads work best.

Navin said that over the course of this year, Samba TV is likely to make more announcements about being able to measure campaigns on other digital platforms and being able to measure campaigns for other industries.

“This is a great start,” he said.

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.