With the added convenience of over-the-top (OTT) and subscription video on demand (SVOD) across multiple devices come new challenges for marketers to avoid fragmentation and measure ROI. ComScore’s Activation expansion, which includes console gaming and OTT viewing, highlights the growing need for audience measurement across these segments as other platforms also get involved.
In October, Nielsen launched Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) Content Ratings to measure streaming programs in a comparable method to traditional TV. At launch, the new service only tracks Netflix but is expected to add Amazon Prime and Hulu sometime this year.
Megan Clarken, president of Watch at Nielsen, said that the syndication of SVOD measurement represents a big step forward in terms of moving closer to transparency within the SVOD marketplace. Netflix, in particular, doesn’t offer advertising on its platform and keeps any metrics other than new subscriptions close to the chest. The popular SVOD service even disputed Nielsen’s measurement of Stranger Things season two viewership but did not offer corrected figures.
A recent report by the Video Advertising Bureau indicates that in spite of the rise of cord-cutting young consumers, television still holds the lion’s share of content consumption. But OTT is growing, as indicated by the introduction of new services from Facebook Watch to Apple and Philo to PassionFlix.
NPD reports that SVOD had the highest year-over-year increase from August 2016 to August 2017, with almost half the population streaming video compared to traditional TV, attending movie theaters and other video viewing methods.
The comScore Activation product suite was first introduced in September and uses data to create ad targeting profiles based on demographics and cross-platform behaviors. Activation now includes digital, TV, gaming and OTT, including SVOD. According to comScore’s latest estimates, more than eight million homes view an average of 59 hours of OTT content each month.
Adding OTT and SVOD to comScore makes sense in terms of meeting the needs of today’s marketers, but also to prove its value to potential companies who may be interested in a buy-out following a settlement with activist investor Starboard in September.