Report: Traditional TV Measurement Missing Two-Thirds of Video Consumption

NEW YORK—It’s becoming harder to effectively measure the viewing habits of Millennials and Gen Xers (MGX)—those between 22 and 45— as around two-thirds of their TV and video content consumption is not being captured by current media measurement platforms, says a new report from Omnicom Media Group agency Hearts & Science.

MGXers spend an estimated 30 hours per week consuming TV and video content, but traditional TV platforms account for only 10 of those hours, per the report. The remaining content is viewed on other devices or streaming content on all devices. Measurement firms like Nielsen, comScore and Kantar can effectively measure those traditional TV screens, but are still working out how to measure content and ad exposure in-app on mobile and tablet devices, on OTT devices and through streaming services.

Nielsen has attempted to address this with its Digital Content Ratings Software Developer Kit, but it has had slow adoption as it requires integrating code to measure in-app content and ad-consumption on all platforms, devices and client app at the publisher’s expense. Nielsen’s digital TV ratings, which includes streaming TV content on these new platforms, struggles because the digital content and ad load must be identical to that of the original broadcast; ad content is usually changed as content crosses environments.

Meanwhile, 47 percent of MGXers report that they consume no content on traditional TV platforms. The study’s authors labeled such respondents as “unreachables,” as today’s TV measurement is not equipped to capture the whole story of this segment’s media consumption.

As a result of its findings, Hearts & Science calls for planning systems to be adjusted to account for the gaps in measurement data and to leverage new mobile datasets. They also suggested that agencies and marketers push for the adoption of SDKs that allow for these targets to be counted.

The full study is available for review here.