TV Measurement and Addressability: Q&A with TVSquared’s Bob Ivins

With Bob Ivins, Chief Strategy Officer at TVSquared

Moving forward, it will be important to approach TV measurement and addressability in the same way as digital, giving advertisers the cross-platform insights they need to increase the efficiency of their TV ad campaigns. In our Interview, Bob outlines what the future of measurement and attribution should look like for TV campaigns, and how advertisers can close the loop on the consumer gap and improve transparency.

The key things to consider will be:

  • Measurement (impression delivery, frequency, and unique unduplicated reach)
  • Attribution and Outcomes (brand 1st party data, tags on thousands of websites globally, etc)
  • Audiences (use the right tech to know the ad was delivered and that someone took an action)

How Did The Global Pandemic Impact The Way Advertisers Approach TV?

The pandemic was a massive shock, instantly impacting virtually every facet of our personal and professional lives, and the speed at which the global economy collapsed was unprecedented. Advertisers, like everyone else, were hit with the “double whammy” of uncertainty and economic losses. The first decision advertisers had to consider was, “should we be advertising?” To answer this question, advertisers wanted proof that their advertising was driving a business outcome. They also wanted flexibility to pause or move money around with events like sports – which attract lots of ad dollars – disappearing overnight.


The second decision, assuming the advertiser decided to remain on the air, was what the right tone of voice was under the circumstances. Many brands were quick to change copy and connect with customers and prospects in different ways.

But the biggest impact on how advertisers now approach TV, was that TV was reinventing itself in real time. Many of the changes, like streaming, were underway prior to March 2020, but COVID-19 accelerated them. Consumers were already watching more TV and much of that growth was happening on OTT/CTV services. Advertisers had to move to where their audiences were and to do that, they needed better data.

Going forward, savvy advertisers will want the flexibility to move money around or change copy, as well as better data to find and follow audiences across time, platforms, and devices.

Which advertisers are you seeing leverage TV particularly well right now?

We’ve seen direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands become one of the fastest-growing and smartest groups of TV advertisers. DTCs were front and center on our screens during lockdowns, as consumers, confined to their homes, turned online for almost everything. And because they are digital natives, DTCs demand digital-like targeting and measurement from their TV investments. They also understand that TV is more than just a reach tool. TV, broadly defined, can also be used to boost conversions and target new audiences. We are now seeing traditional advertisers follow their lead – leveraging TV to drive both long and short-term outcomes, rather than simply for brand building.

How can the industry maintain the high standard TV has set for measurement?

TV – across platforms and screens – now encompasses the best of both worlds: high-quality, brand-safe programming, combined with digital-like transparency and measurement.

But as time spent watching cross-platform TV increases, so too do the potential challenges. For example, advertisers don’t put all their eggs in one basket. Their campaigns are made up of ads across multiple networks and platforms, so data must be collected from several sources of inventory: including linear, VOD, CTV, and OTT. These disparate data sets must then be combined into a harmonized view with the speed and accuracy advertisers want. It’s challenging, but it’s doable, and it’s happening today.

So, how can the industry overcome these challenges?

Nothing has been or will be solved with legacy tools and systems. To solve today’s challenges, we need today’s technologies, such as those developed by TVSquared. The cross-platform TV measurement winner will ultimately be the company that can measure TV the way people watch it – across time, platforms and devices.

Do you think CTV will become more central to brands’ marketing strategies due to its ability to reach audiences at scale without cookies?

Advertisers follow audiences and audiences are moving to OTT/CTV services and, luckily, CTV doesn’t rely on cookies. So, for these two reasons, OTT/CTV will become more important to TV advertisers. Large audiences will still exist on linear, but the growth we’re seeing lies mainly with streaming.

Bob is an industry veteran, who is widely recognised for pioneering data-driven advertising and promoting better transparency and collaboration throughout the TV ecosystem. He has previously held senior roles at Comcast, Nielsen, and Yahoo.