What is TV Attention?  It’s Coming But It Will Look A Bit Different Than Digital

Over the past half decade, attention metrics have helped digital marketers become far more efficient and far less wasteful. Rather than spending their money blindly, online advertisers optimize their budgets to favor ad impressions that consumers actually have a chance to see.

It’s no surprise that savvy marketers are beginning to demand a similar form of attention measurement on television. While the conventional wisdom is that full-screen TV ads are 100% viewable, forward-thinking advertisers are recognizing that this presumption is 100% false. After all, who among us hasn’t missed an ad break because we got up to fix a snack or go to the bathroom?

TV attention is badly needed. But in order to make it work, marketers must first recognize that it’s fundamentally different from the digital attention metrics they may be used to.

At its core, the question attention answers is whether there was an opportunity for an audience to see the ad. For there to be an opportunity requires 1) that there be an audience, and 2) that the ad displays in a way that the audience could see.

How you measure that differs by medium, however, and the reason for that difference can be summed up in two sentences: In digital, the viewer is focused on a static screen, but the screen is moving. In television, the screen is static, but the viewer is moving.

And so a different methodology is required for each.

In digital, the user is actively engaged with the screen at all times, it is presumed, but the content on the screen moves as the user navigates.

Ads fall out of view when the user scrolls to a different part of the page or navigates to a different tab or browser window. This is the natural result of an active medium. As it is active, the presence of a person is assumed (excluding fraudulent traffic), and so a digital ad’s attention only has to measure whether the ad displayed on the screen appropriately. This is done by looking at two qualities:

1. The percentage of pixels that appear on-screen.
2. The amount of time those pixels appear in view.

Digital---Viewability-Digital-480On television, however, the screen is fixed and displays the full ad content. TV attention needs to measure the other aspect of the problem - is there anyone even there when the ad is displayed?

Non-viewable TV ads are displayed when the audience is no longer in the room - whether they simply leave the room with the TV one to grab a glass of water, use the restroom, or make a quick phone call. TV introduces a third quality into the attention measurement equation:

1. The percentage of pixels that appear on-screen (always 100% on TV).
2. The amount of time those pixels are in view.
3. The number of people who are in the room to view the screen.

TV---Viewability 480At TVision, we measure how people really watch TV.

Our cutting-edge technology tells us when people are in the room to see the ad that’s running on-screen, and which people are watching. With this information, we’re helping top brands measure true TV attention on a second-by-second basis, empowering advertisers to optimize performance and eliminate waste.

In short, TVision is measuring what was previously unmeasurable. It’s time for savvy marketers to get up to speed -- at least before their competitors do.


TV and CTV Attention Report
The TV and CTV Attention Report