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Partnerships Critical for Streaming Video Ad Success: Comscore
Will the walls of walled gardens come down? Not fully, but online platforms will need to share a lot more data if they're going to provide the metrics advertisers demand.

Call it frenemies, coopetition, or dropping the walls, said Laura Fitzpatrick, vice president of national networks for Comscore. Whatever the name, it means different companies working together, and it's the only way forward for advertisers in today's highly fractured streaming video world.

Fitzpatrick spoke late Thursday on one of New York Advertising Week's final panels, giving a summation of one of this year's defining themes: Partnerships are critical. Her company knows that firsthand, as it announced on September 11 that it's joining with Adobe, Google, and Oracle Data Cloud to help media buyers reach targeted consumer groups while managing ad frequency.

The reality is that as streaming views grow, no one company can deliver all the reach and measurement that major TV advertisers require, even though many claim to do just that. In order to provide buyers with targeted reach and ensure they aren't bombarding the same viewers over and over on multiple platforms, ad companies need to work together to share data. Only then can advertisers deliver campaigns at scale while measuring effectiveness.

This year's Advertising Week came at a critical time in the area's growth. Comscore research from this summer showed that 62% of streaming households now subscribe to services though set-top boxes, Fitzpatrick said, and they now stream more minutes of entertainment than they watch from a DVR.

In this time of transition, households with both pay TV and streaming services show the most change, said Justin Evans, global head of analytics and insights for Samsung Ads, speaking on the same panel. His company's data shows that a stable 30% of viewers stream all their content and don't watch any linear TV. Also, 26% watch only traditional TV with no streaming—and that number is shrinking. Where Samsung Ads sees growth is in the middle 44% that enjoys both types of viewing.

To reach all viewers, advertisers need to continue with their national TV buys, but add in streaming sources for incremental reach. After all, 30% of viewers aren't exposed to traditional linear TV.

But don't streamers mostly watch commercial-free sources? Evans says no. Samsung Ads data shows that 60% of streamers watch ad-supported video, which makes up 40% of their viewing time.

The key pain point for advertisers in serving those streaming viewers is getting deduplicated reach metrics, so they can be sure they're reaching a broad number of viewers rather than hyper-serving a small group. To make those numbers available, streaming services are doing to have to start sharing more data and forming partnerships. As Advertising Week 2019 closes, that provides a roadmap for the work needed in the year ahead.

Photo: Justin Evans of Samsung Ads and Laura Fitzpatrick of Comscore

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