CNN Orders Study on Out-of-Home TV Viewership

Published on: 2015-02-05

MediaWeek tells us that:
CNN has commissioned Integrated Media Measurement Inc. to analyze out-of-home ad exposure for 10 clients of media agencies OMD and PHD with an eye toward ensuring greater accountability for viewership in bars, dorm rooms, gyms and other venues.

According to Greg D’Alba, executive vp and COO of CNN Ad Sales, IMMI will begin measuring the news network’s out-of-home exposure in fourth quarter. Once data is processed in early 2009, D’Alba will share the results with the agencies and their participating clients to better contextualize media planning.

“By getting the clients more involved in the research, we can give them a clearer picture of just how effective their ads are in out-of-home environments,” D’Alba said. “This dimensional study further justifies the investment they’re placing in our networks.”

To track out-of-home exposure, IMMI panelists are equipped with mobile phones that pick up and relay a series of audio signatures back to a central server. The company has established local panels in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver.

Per Nielsen Media Research, about 8 percent of all TV viewing takes place outside the home. While a final roster for the IMMI study has yet to be set, the list of participating clients is expected to skew more heavily toward the OMD side of the Omnicom business.
Our take:

It looks like this study is focusing exclusively (more or less) on viewing regular, plain old TV broadcasts in out of home environments.  Think "watching the TV behind the counter at your local diner" instead of "retail TV", which typically implies a custom-installed network with specialized content. Here's the question, though: if they want to advertise on those estimated 8% of hours of TV that are consumed outside of the home, how will they do it? Without splitting off additional channels or using special receiver hardware (which your local mom n' pop store isn't going to bother with), there's no way to customize the ad stream for these situations. We suppose it might be possible to optimize the current lineup of standard TV commercials to perform slightly better in out-of-home environments, but considering that the in-home market for those spots is much, much larger, that hardly seems a good idea either.  What will CNN do with their data once they have it? Only time will tell...

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