A one-year-old U.S. company specialising in connected TV measurement and attribution is building a client base from direct-to-consumer brands who have maxed out on Google and Facebook advertising and need a new digital channel for their media investment. TVDataNow provides a connected TV measurement platform that harnesses viewing data, identity and advertiser website activity to demonstrate the performance of campaigns and the creative they use, with creative optimisation among its key value propositions.
TVDataNow works with video publishers, who place code within the advertising creative. This code fires a data record to the TVDataNow measurement platform every time it is viewed by a consumer. Data includes device ID, user ID, the browser being used, and the publisher who distributed the video. Identity is confirmed via a partnership with LiveRamp.
The TVDataNow measurement platform will show de-duplicated reach for a campaign and can help a client frequency cap within the same publisher (though not currently across publishers). It can also ingest third-party data including demographics and location intelligence associated with identified consumers.
The measurement solution also includes an engagement score that leverages granular viewing data including whether someone fast-forwarded or muted audio (negative) or turned the volume up or paused (positive). The engagement measure also contributes to creative optimisation.
TVDataNow clients include a VC-funded direct-to-consumer health company and another start-up with eco-friendly products that wants to compete with major retailers. John Hamilton, CEO at TVDataNow, estimates that his company will manage $1m worth of media spend in Q1 this year, rising to $10m by Q2.
Any publisher taking the money available from TVDataNow clients must use the measurement system the company provides – that is part of the deal. Hamilton says publishers and connected TV platforms are happy to cooperate because they want this money, which is new to TV and therefore new to connected TV.
“The companies we work with are direct-to-consumer, VC-funded enterprises with digital-first marketing strategies who do not have any television [advertising investment] contact at all,” explains Hamilton. “They are used to launching campaigns on Facebook and Google but are telling us that they have maxed out there – they cannot invest any more for the same ROI.
“They are also looking ahead to changes in mobile because of browsing privacy issues, so are expecting a [negative] change on their ROI there. These marketers need another channel and want to know if that could be connected TV.”
TVDataNow is a firm believer that connected TV can, indeed, provide them with a powerful new channel to market and has set itself up as something of a media consultancy, providing agency-like services including strategy and campaign planning.
“We have found that marketers find connected TV to be fragmented, confusing and complicated,” the CEO says. TVDataNow helps them make sense of the CTV marketplace, then introduces them to publishers (taking a flat fee based on the first month’s media spend for its ‘agency’ style work). The company then leaves the client and publisher to manage their own relationship. All buying is direct today.
Hamilton stresses the importance of creative optimisation. The TVDataNow platform can help determine not only which ad copy is most effective but also which copy works best for which publisher environment, and which day-part, etc. And he believes it is in the interests of publishers to enable such measurement. “The publishers that end up leading [in the streaming advertising space] are those that provide more data to advertisers,” the 12-year adtech veteran comments.
TVDataNow is not the only game in town when it comes to connected TV audience insights, measurement or attribution, but Hamilton reckons the company’s digital-first focus is an important differentiator. He claims that measurement providers who are ‘linear-first’ and wrap connected TV into a holistic insights offering must carry what he calls a linear cost overhead.
Besides that, other companies offering CTV measurement/insights services are targeting an entirely different client base, he believes. “We are not working with P&G, Chrysler and Ford and we don’t intend to touch linear advertising,” he states. “We will stick to direct-to-consumer clients.”