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Q&A With CIMM CEO: How Content and Ad Labeling Efforts Will Impact Programmatic

September 19th, 2018   ||    by Charlene Weisler

Finding an industry-standard for cross-platform ad and content measurement was once a hopeful but lonely quest. But today, this initiative is finding a wider voice and beginning to gain traction with stakeholders.

The implications of this standard are enormous, not only helping content creators and advertisers better monetize their efforts from linear to programmatic to digital, but also aiding in other initiatives such as attribution and dynamic ad insertion.

Jane Clarke, CEO and managing director of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), has been a trailblazer in the field of content and ad labeling as an assured way of tracking programming and ads across platforms. She shared her thoughts around the importance of labeling across platforms, the best ways to achieve it, and how she sees the industry evolving because of it.

Weisler: You’ve been involved in the effort to label content for many years. How did you know that this issue would be so important?

Clarke: CIMM’s mission has, from its inception, been focused on advancement of full cross-platform measurement. A foundational element of that has always been the need to standardize the identification of both advertising and content. In absence of this, there would be no effective way to track these assets as they are consumed across various platforms. So the goal of labeling content through an identifier that would be persistent across platforms has always been central to our vision.

What are the best methods for labeling?

The best method is to use an industry standard identifier. That is why EIDR [Entertainment Identifier Registry] and Ad-ID exist, especially when they are bound into content with open standard watermarking technology, such as that which was recently published by SMPTE [Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers]. This enables not only for a uniform way in which both content and advertising to be tracked, but also opens the door for a whole host of novel use cases.

Do you see the industry coalescing around content labeling now? If so, what is the progress/timeline? If not, what can be done to move things forward?

As the need for automation grows to enhance both efficiencies of workflow and to ensure accurate tracking of assets across platforms, the industry will continue to embrace content labeling. Progress here is accelerating and certainly the efforts of CIMM, EIDR, Ad-ID, and Kantar Media to promote adoption through the TAXI [Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification] Complete initiative is helping to drive this forward.

How will content labeling impact programmatic TV?

The primary impact here will be the efficiency of cross-platform workflows in combining the tracking and verification for ads and content across programmatic and linear and VOD , as well as the benefit of being able to improve automation with standardized identifiers. We might see inventive impacts as well, such as the addition of a decoder into a programmatic TV platform to aid with automating the dynamic insertion of ads. There are numerous possibilities in terms of how labeling can impact automation in TV buying.

How will standards in labeling impact media in general?

On a basic level, it facilitates and makes feasible the distribution of content across a broad range of platforms. With the ability to automatically identify content regardless of where it is distributed, providers can have greater confidence that they will be able to monetize their work. But the potential here for new and different use cases is really just beginning to be identified—such as for more innovative second screen synchronization. Content labeling will open the door to not only greater profitability for content providers but [will] also help create new revenue streams.

Where do you see this effort going three years from today?

Over the course of the next three years we will see near universal adoption of EIDR and of Kantar Media’s watermarking technology as the standard for binding this tag into video. Content distribution is only going to continue to grow and fragment. It will be a necessity to efficiently identify that content for full monetization.

Any last advice for programmers, advertisers, and marketers on this issue?

Yes, get on board now! Ad and content identifiers are the building blocks of automation for our industry and the basis for future innovations. Those who are not at the forefront of utilizing this technology run the risk of being in the background as their competitors run with it.

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