Ben Young
Ben Young
June 17, 2022

Edition #372

Why tv’s are always on, TheAthletic gets bundled and Twitter product drops.

One big thing

For many set top boxes, they’re on all the time. And if they’re tuned into a channel, even though the tv is off, chances are that viewership is being counted. Which leads to over counting. Even OTT apps can continue to play after you turn the tv off. This means at least $1b worth of ads are being played to no one each year.

This is why viewability for the web was invented, to ensure that ads were shown in view of the customer. Makes sense. However for tv, the existing roll out of set room boxes and lack of universal standards make the implementation of a similar type solution challenging.

We saw a few weeks back that NBCU is experimenting with multi ad and content on screen. Initially this may seem a bit grim, but is it an improvement over the ad break? And everyone’s tv is a lot larger than they used to be. Maybe that yields enough to drop one or two ad breaks per hour. I’ll be curious to see how it goes.

With all this, the backbone or thread is that measurement enables product innovation. Getting those right things captured in your metrics, helps push things forward.

Notable stories this week


Campaign of the Week

Xero + TheGuardian


Smartest commentary

  • “The real breakthroughs that enabled the revival of the 1,000 True Fans model are better understood as cultural. The rise in both online news paywalls and subscription video-streaming services trained users to be more comfortable paying à la carte for content. When you already shell out regular subscription fees for, Netflix, Peacock, and Disney+, why not also pay for “Breaking Points,” or throw a monthly donation toward Maria Popova? In 2008, when Kelly published the original “1,000 True Fans” essay, it was widely assumed that it would be hard to ever persuade people to pay money for most digital content. (This likely explains why so many of Kelly’s examples focus on selling tangible goods, such as DVDs or custom prints.) This is no longer true. Opening up these marketplaces to purely digital artifacts—text, audio, video, online classes—significantly lowered the barriers to entry for creative professionals looking to make a living online.”Cal Newport, columnist, New Yorker

Datapoints of note

  • Arc is generating $40m-$50m for WaPo.
  • 1500 programmatic buyers globally ranked Brand Metrics, Engagement KPIs and Ad Formats as their top 3 initial buying filters.

That’s it for this week.