New York—“I think that 2017 is going to be the year of first-party measurement,” Joan FitzGerald, VP of product management and business development at TiVo, said during an audience-measurement panel Wednesday at the Advanced Advertising conference, commenting that might be a controversial statement.
It might have been in the sense that the biggest player in third-party TV viewing measurement, Nielsen, was represented on the panel in the form of Andrew Feigenson, managing director of digital. But on the same panel Randy Cooke, VP of programmatic at SpotX, had declared he believed “the future of ad decisioning resides in first-party data.” Cooke, though, also endorsed the importance of a “trusted industry support standard” to evaluate whether or not an ad buy you just made was priced correctly.
FitzGerald’s point was that advertisers have been building their own databases—including visitors to their own websites—and attaching it to third-party data sources from the likes of Nielsen or set-top data from comScore (which acquired Rentrak) instead of relying more heavily on what comes from third parties. “This experimentation is going to become more mainstream” going forward, she said.
The panel, part of NYC Television and Video Week, also featured Colleen Fahey Rush, executive VP and chief research officer at Viacom, who said the "trust and transparency" role of third-party measurement in TV was underscored by recent news of video views exaggerated by “people grading their own homework.” She wouldn’t name the company when asked to elaborate by moderator Dade Hayes, the editor of Broadcasting & Cable, but the allusion seemed to be about Facebook’s admission that it had accidentally overstated the number of viewers for videos on the site (a situation Facebook said had been fixed and did not result in overbilling to clients).