Media Unleashed

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Cross-Screen Planning – Moving beyond Linear and CTV Silos

By: Christine Price    September 1, 2021

Cross-screen media is now the pillar stone in media planning. Viewing habits across devices are changing. Consumers aren’t even consciously aware that they are changing devices, but instead, they are only concerned with viewing what they want when they want it. Viewership devices like TV (internet-connected or not), mobile phones, desktops and tablets can all complement each other. Each screen plays a role in the buying journey, and collectively, they build more reach and allow for measurement that was not available in the past. Unfortunately, most of the TV, CTV and OTT planning workflows are still done in silos when instead it should be planned as one media tactic or channel.


Not planning across screens collectively can result in campaign performance issues like over/under ad exposure and inefficiencies in the budget. Is your current linear TV buy delivering the majority of the campaign impressions to only a small percentage of households? Are you able to truly understand the deduplicated reach of your campaign? Are your frequency caps existing across multiple streaming platforms? “What is the best way to plan and measure cross-screen ads?” will be a theme question for media in the next few years. The first solution to these issues is to plan with a unified currency – audience-based buying. With Nielsen’s recent loss of accreditation from the Media Ratings Council (MRC), it is becoming more clear that impressions may not be the best source of currency in this new cross-screen ecosystem. (At the very least, they shouldn’t be the only currency used.) Audience-based buying is a solution that many agencies are leaning into. Audience targets can help campaigns align directly with their targeted consumers and eliminate waste. Audience-based buys also offer a good opportunity to use data to adjust channel allocations within a campaign to avoid waste.


The second solution is partnering with  single-source-of-truth partners like Comscore, Innovid, iSpot, TVSquared and VideoAmp. These companies have “no skin in the game.” They can measure across devices, beyond impressions and outcomes and without bias. They are using smart TVs, ACR, first-party data and other data sources to provide a true deduplicated view of performance and attribution. They provide data across the screens so agencies and advertisers know what was actually purchased, what is attributable, and what outcomes and efficiencies can be found.


A third solution is pushing for all campaign partners to use Ad-ID across all media. Ad-IDs have been part of linear, but by having all media partners use this data as a base, we can effectively move toward a unified understanding of the campaign and creative performance.


We could never have imagined COVID-19 or the pandemics impact on how quickly streaming viewership would grow, but we can reinvent our strategies and workflows to plan and buy across these screens holistically.