David Cohen: Redefining Premium Video This Upfront Season

By David Cohen, former President, MAGNA

There have never been more options for consumers or opportunities for marketers in the video space. With the streaming wars kicking into high gear, the battle for consumer attention has never been more fierce. As we head into the Upfront season, the conversations around premium video continue to pervade client board rooms and agency war rooms across the industry. Is premium video worth the incremental cost? Does premium video provide a positive halo to brands? How does premium video vary for different consumer segments?

All of these are valid questions, but perhaps we need to step back for a moment. What is premium video, anyway? Some define it by production value, others by passion, viewing intensity, engagement, appointment viewing, or must-see TV. I believe the one universal constant underpinning premium video is attention. Getting it, retaining it, validating it, and getting it again next time. For decades, we have used a legacy measurement tool to create a surrogate for attention. It was called a rating, and it delivered us insights into programming and quantified viewership. We now know that ratings are not necessarily correlated with consumer attention, and today we have far more valuable tools in our arsenal.

TVision introduced the concept of television ad attention a few short years ago. The premise was relatively simple: in order for marketers to get the greatest value from their investments, programming needed to be watched, and ads needed to be paid attention to. Needless to say, there is great variability in attention (person in the room) and ad attention (eyes on-screen) from network to network and show to show. This data should be a critical input for marketers and agency teams to ensure that they are buying premium video that delivers attentive and receptive audiences

In this report, you will find fresh, new data that looks at attention across dayparts and demographics. We explore the winners and losers in sports, entertainment, award shows, and brand marketer performance by vertical category. In addition, as we near the height of the presidential primary season, we also take a look at the political arena and the differences between primetime political programs. Not surprisingly, we find that the category as a whole over-indexes on both attention.

Perhaps the most exciting data in this report shows new measurement across the OTT landscape. Universal OTT measurement across all platforms and apps has been elusive to the marketplace. TVision is now able to provide a view into this rapidly growing area by providing co-viewing rates and Attention Index. Attention Index compares the attention viewers pay during a given show against a baseline index, which can help identify the most valuable programming in the OTT space. It enables us to redefine premium video in a similar way across the video ecosystem, and that is invaluable data for Upfront planning.

Let’s be sure we take advantage of all the available data in the market as we head into the Upfronts this season. Premium video is only premium if it is viewed and wins consumer attention.

Happy negotiating!

David Cohen, Former President, MAGNA


Download TVision's H2 2019 TV Engagement Report

H2 2019 Report
2019 H2 Report