One of the nation’s biggest investors of ad dollars wants to push big large streamers to work together when it comes to commercials.
GroupM, the large media-buying unit of European ad conglomerate WPP. is launching a group that aims to make the process of buying and placing ads in streaming environments easier for marketers. GroupM has formed a partnership with media owners Disney, Roku, NBCUniversal and YouTube, along with ad-tech firms including KERV, BrightLine; and Telly. This consortium aims to press for new advertising formats on streaming services, which attract a coterie of viewers who are eager to avoid commercials as much as possible, and then will urge for standardized measurement elements that can be used no matter the platform on which the ad appears.
“We have an opportunity right now that is similar to the opportunity we have with measurement, to really define what the next five to ten years look like,” says Mike Fisher, executive director of investment innovation at GroupM U.S., during an interview.
As more consumers abandon traditional TV watching for streaming video on demand, Madison Avenue is eager to follow them. But the migration is wreaking havoc on the economic underpinnings of the media sector. Advertisers that once created a single commercials and played it across dozens of different networks must now tailor a new slate of interactive or addressable pitches to the varying technology at play on, say, Peacock, Netflix and Hulu.
The looming launch of a new ad tier for Amazon Prime Video only threatens to create another venue that will require navigation. According to a GroupM ad-spending forecast, ad dollars placed into connected TV will rise 14.9% in North America in 2024, up from 9.4% in 2023.
GroupM hopes to add more media sellers to the new partnership, says Fisher. But it sees the venture as benefitting only clients at GroupM agencies, which include Mindshare, Wavemaker and EssenceMediacom.
The hope, says Fisher, is that the new partnership can prod media outlets to be more in tune with what advertisers need. “We are going to push them on proving this stuff works. We are going to ask them for data that they have that proves this stuff works beyond simple click rates or engagement time or duration. We want true qualitative measurement on the impact this has on our clients’ advertising.
The new group will start its work in early 2024. Partners have agreed to hold quarterly meetings to establish goals; to launch pilot programs in the first quarter of this year; to jointly create ad formats that can be used across media outlets so that all parties can test and research them; and to determine a new set of standards and practices upon which the new advertising can be judged.
Working group members will collaborate with GroupM advertisers expressing interest
in testing new formats and processes. Benchmark testing will be finalized in early 2024 ahead of planning that must take place for the industry’s next upfront market, when media companies try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory for their next cycle of programming.
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