Bewkes Calls for Measurement Innovation
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes touched on the great video measurement debate yesterday (November 4) on the company’s third quarter earnings call. Prompted by an analyst’s question on the topic Bewkes said: “What the industry, the network and show producing industry wants to see is to have them [Nielsen] move forward, which they are trying to do and to investigate any other methods, including census based methods that use either set top boxes or obviously broadband views of video, which are highly trackable and you can do those things on more of a minute-to-minute targeted basis.”
While Bewkes acknowledged that Nielsen is improving its service he supported the mission of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) established to see what other entities have to offer beyond Nielsen’s solution. He continued: “So I think it’s just a natural effort by the industry as consumption and platforms change to keep the measurement capabilities up to speed with what’s happening in all these different methods of distribution and it obviously would strike everyone that if you simply had one entity doing that you’re not likely to get as much innovation as if you have several doing it.”
Time Warner has a big stake in getting the measurement part perfected. First, cable channel ratings tend to rise when measured by set top boxes, rather than sample-based systems, according to an earlier report from Nielsen, but more importantly, cable content players are insistent they won’t put their shows online until they can become a second source of revenue and that is dependent on transferring the TV ad load to the online viewing experience.
Separately, CIMM said this week it would hold a November 10 meeting with five providers of set top box data to discuss their various offerings. The companies invited include: Nielsen, Rentrak, TiVo, TRA and TNS. According to a press release from the group, CIMM wants to break away from the RFP process of designating a single winner, and would instead like to collaborate with various data and technology providers to “fund a number of projects that meet the group’s criteria.” The group said it would tackle the cross-platform media measurement RFP next. The current requests for information are at the Website: www.cimm-us.org.