Digital video, once considered a way to extend a traditional TV broadcaster's audience reach, is rapidly coming into its own. A new comScore report reveals that the rapid expansion of mobile viewing is making it possible marketers to match online audience reach levels with those of television for the first time ever.
"In the past year alone, many digital properties crossed critical scale thresholds for monthly unique users, with 64 properties now boasting an audience of at least 50 million, and more than 200 with audiences of at least 20 million," comScore said in a new report, "The Value of A Digital Ad: How Validated Reach & Frequency Metrics Can Drive Campaign ROI."
The report looks at traditional "reach and frequency" (R/F) measurement and, while explaining why the techniques are flawed in an increasingly digital media and entertainment landscape, suggests adding a third metric, validated impressions, to get a more accurate view of an audience.
comScore said that while "actual validated reach" can return viewing numbers that are much lower than R/F measurement, the results can be much more accurate. For example, when the firm applied validated impressions to the gross R/F measurements of 109 ad campaigns by large advertisers, the result was a 23 percent drop in average viewing numbers for the campaigns' primary target audience.
However, validated metrics is a huge, untapped opportunity for marketers, comScore noted. First, learning how well a digital ad performed overall in terms of reaching actual human viewers raises the value of that measurement. And second, markets aren't yet fully capitalizing on that performance metric. "Even for the biggest campaigns we've measured, marketers are still not weighting digital campaigns to the point where reach flattens out," the report said. "That means there's still ample runway for big brands to increase reach on digital."
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