Are We Ready for a Seismic Shift in Local TV?

Posted on December 2nd, 2019 by Vaughn Ericson

For the most part, Local TV advertising continues to be transacted on CPPs and GRPs — a holdout from the early days of Nielsen’s demo-based ratings measurement and buying currency. While ratings and GRPs do, in fact, provide a measurement that equalizes the planned and reported exposure across markets with differing populations and universes, local TV is starting to incorporate the same type of currency National TV and many digital channels have been transacting on for year — impression-based currency. 

This impressions-based approach, coupled with data-centric targeting, is smarter in today’s media environment and landscape. Looking at impressions in Local TV allows advertisers to include more relevant programs with smaller audiences, akin to relevant long-tail websites and hyper-targeted content. It allows marketers to incorporate streaming, digital and mobile viewing with traditional linear broadcast tune-in. 

While strategic planning and buying across all screens – using data to identify viewing audiences – is the right thing to do, the industry is struggling to wrap it up into a tidy package. At the recent Digiday Video Summit, attendees agreed that there are several hurdles to overcome. Measurement, accessible inventory, available data and privacy regulations are common obstacles that get in the way of progress.

But that shouldn’t stop the industry from pushing forward, challenging the norm and finding solutions. 

At True Media, we are creating a shift in our mindset and adjusting our structure to align our processes with today’s viewing behaviors and consumers’ engagement with video content across all screens. Adopting an impressions-based approach in Local TV, and creating cross-channel strategies that incorporate all targeted viewing opportunities are just some of the ways we are innovating to deliver measurable results for our clients.