The last decade has brought seismic shifts in the media landscape. Thanks to exciting developments in digital technology, there’s been a dramatic change in the way audiences engage with all forms of media. As a result, our industry finds itself facing new questions. In addition to asking how best to leverage these new technologies to grow reach and engagement, we need to ask and quickly answer how we can accurately measure and monetize the audiences and forms of engagement these technologies have enabled.
The total picture
Traditional linear television has been our center of gravity for decades and continues to be critically important. However, traditional in-home viewing has been supplemented by both new in-home and out-of-home viewership. Consumers are more and more mobile and wherever they are, their eyes are glued to the screen. Non-traditional viewership of both traditional TV content and newer forms of content is exploding, making non-traditional engagement impossible to ignore. It’s an exciting time for our industry. Never have there been more viewers engaging with us in so many ways, but how can we capture and quantify all of this engagement?
To accomplish this, we must radically expand our formal definition of viewership to embrace total audience, total reach and total engagement.
Think about it. The one and only scarce commodity is time and people today are spending their time very differently. In order to capture and quantify these new audiences, we need to be able to take the kaleidoscopic picture of multiplatform digital and non-digital engagement and fit all the pieces together into a picture of audience, reach and engagement.
Calculating total reach
At Univision, we’ve long been focused on the need for a reliable measurement tool that can accurately measure the total number of people we are reaching in this new world. We understand how urgent it is to be able to capture every point of engagement we have with our audiences—whether it’s at home or outside the home; on a (smart) TV, a tablet, a smartphone, etc.; or with a Univision branded product, service, or event.
To meet this critical need, we’ve pioneered our own unique method, the UCI Total Reach Score.
UCI Total Reach Score captures the full range of the unduplicated relationships we have with our audience by calculating our total reach across both media and non-media (i.e., products and services).
And we are totally transparent about how we compute it.
We start by gathering all of the best and most robust available data. We get the monthly TV reach data for our networks, channels and stations from Nielsen. We get our radio reach data from Nielsen Audio. We get the digital reach data from comScore and we rely on Simmons data (the only long-established cross-platform research data) to give us the percentage of audience for each of these segments that is unduplicated or incremental to our viewers on the other platforms.
Last, we collect and process data on all the customers who engage with us through our branded products and services: Tarjeta Univision, a reloadable prepaid card for Hispanics; UnivisionFarmacia, the leading Hispanic pharmacy discount program; and Univision Mobile, our pioneering prepaid wireless T-Mobile service created specifically for Hispanic Americans.
How it works
When we take into account all three factors — traditional television and radio, digital media and non-media brand engagement — we get a picture of total audience reach. We’re starting with an already impressive and growing baseline of direct viewers. Our unique demographic gives us the largest audience of traditional live TV/cable viewers of any network. This number is then significantly augmented by the addition of radio and multiplatform digital media, and further increased by our unique non-media properties.
Any truly accurate assessment of total reach will also take into account an audience’s “growability” or capacity to expand, its demographic and economic potential and its power of word-of-mouth. In our case, the purchasing power of the young Hispanic community we serve, the fastest-growing millennial audience in America today, is constantly expanding, and word-of-mouth influence is larger in this community than in any other. Thus, the dynamism and vitality of an audience, although more difficult to quantify, is another crucial factor to consider in addition to multiplatform media and non-media engagement.
By capturing all audiences, we found that in 2014 we reached 45 million consumers, an increase of 10 percent from 2013.
Into the future
The results of the Univision total reach score have opened our eyes and it’s an important first step in the right direction. Our entire industry needs to embrace the concept of total audience, total reach and total engagement. By doing so, we can reset the dialogue, more fully understand what’s happening in this shifting media landscape, stay more closely connected to our audiences as their behaviors evolve and ultimately better monetize the many ways audiences are now engaging with the brands and content they love.
Kevin Conroy is chief strategy & data officer and president of enterprise development for Univision.