The Polar Report

The Polar Report: Industry Insights #13

September 15, 2022

Welcome to The Polar Report, a curated view of what’s happening in the world of Digital Monetisation, Audience Development and Measurement. This week we dive into repetitive ads on streaming services, YouTube potentially implementing Short to Youtube Kids, Lumen and TVision focusing on attention measurement and BARB try to measure TV-like content.


Are Streaming Services’ ads too Repetitive?

CTV and streaming services have proven themselves to be extremely popular over the last few years. Some streaming services have implemented a SVOD (Subscription based video-on-demand) business model that requires monthly payments to be able to watch ad-free content while other streaming services incorporated advertising from the beginning. These services tend to be those with linear-TV legacies, such as Paramount Plus.

However, one thing is crucial when it comes to advertisements within streaming services: that they get it right.

Many viewers claim that streaming services just show the same ad over and over again. A survey last year found that 69% of US adults think ads on streaming services are repetitive. It is clear that there is an issue, and it may have negative effects for companies too, as there is evidence that people become less likely to purchase something if they see an ad too many times. We know that individuals are exposed to hundreds of ads a day, and we know that the goal is to make your ad stand out and be remembered.

What is causing this repetition of ads? Are high value sponsorship placements snapping up all the inventory? Are advertisers outbidding the competition to ensure their ads are shown over and over? While some advertisers are against repeat views for the reasons above, others value the power of an annoying ad. You remember that ad; whether it’s for the wrong or right reason, it doesn’t matter if this is what the advertiser is aiming for.

Surely there needs to be more regulation in this area. Indeed, many ad platforms have tools that can allow you to put limits on how many times an ad can be shown to a single person, although use or availability of such a tool doesn’t appear to be common practise in streaming just yet.

If a balance is found between the number of times an ad is shown and viewer acceptability, then the ad has a far greater likelihood of resulting in recouped revenue.

This is where streaming services could look at the likes of YouTube who offer different variations of ad formats within their platform. When different ad formats are used in conjunction with each other, brands tend to see success. That could be a bumper ad to build suspense with a short message, followed by a non-skippable in-stream ad played halfway through the content to remind the viewer and then finally a  skippable in-stream ad right at the end of the video to prompt the viewer with a call to action. All three ads may be advertising the same thing, but they do it in a different way than the last. Another key point is the way in which those ads could tell a story, rather than just play the same jingle over and over again. Advertisers must be creative in the way they promote their product or service, especially when these consumers are being exposed to hundreds of advertisements a day.

Full Article on The Verge

Audience Development

YouTube Shorts may be coming to YouTube Kids

YouTube is doing its best to compete with the likes of TikTok, and as such, is gearing up for the addition of YouTube Shorts within the YouTube Kids app. With Shorts currently being regarded as YouTube’s most profitable element it makes sense why they would be pushing for continued growth.

When Shorts were released last year, YouTube encouraged kids’ creators to not spend too much time or effort onYouTube Shorts. However, within a few weeks of that, YouTube’s tone changed drastically. They’ve called for creators to focus more on Shorts that would be appropriate for kids. Therefore, the next logical step would be for them to add Shorts to the YouTube kids app, which is something that hasn’t been done before.

We know that short-form content is a hot topic right now, and Shorts for kids provides creators with an opportunity to engage with their audiences in a new, engaging way. Despite creators not currently being able to generate much, if any, ad revenue from Shorts, they will be able to grow organically in terms of their audience development. This will be done through exposure of content. The short-form videos tend to be quick to produce and do not require that much attention compared to longer format videos. Therefore, kid creators can pump out Shorts on YouTube Kids, which in turn will see them grow their audience figures as traffic to their channels increase.

Full Article on Digital Information World


Lumen and TVision implement Attention Measurement to CTV

TVision and Lumen Research are two specialists within the measurement industry, and they have decided to partner up. They have done this in an attempt to measure attention of TV and CTV, and will employ this in UK and US markets. The project will involve TVision developing an opt-in panel to measure a person's TV engagement. This information will then be combined with Lumen’s measurement platform.

The findings can provide marketers with vital information about their campaigns to help determine the campaigns that engaged the viewers the best and which media placements provide optimal attention.

This announcement has come at a time when a lot of focus is being placed on attention. Advertisers are seeking a robust measurement metric for this increasingly important part of the media marketplace. It has gotten to the point where attention is now being implemented into ad agencies’ buying processes.

It will be interesting to see just how effective this attention measurement is. Attention has quickly become arguably the most important metric within the media industry. After all, catching the attention of your audience paves the way in ensuring you are remembered and thought of when it comes to making a purchase decision.

Full Article on Video Week

What is TV-like content? And how do BARB plan on Measuring it?

In a bid to understand what TV actually is, the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (BARB), the UK’s broadcaster-backed TV audience measurement provider, has announced that it will extend its reporting to “all television and television-like content on video-sharing platforms”. BARB has included platforms such as YouTube and TikTok in its reporting since last November. However, the proposed change would aid in providing a better independent measurement of the total reach of TV and TV-like content.

YouTube plays quite a large role for broadcasters and media companies alike. An example of this could be Channel 4 who within the last year have announced a deal to air 1,000 hours of hit shows on YouTube. Along with that, as YouTube and TikTok continue to invest in CTV content, and broadcasters distribute content on social platforms, the boundaries of what TV actually is have never been more blurred. Although this may seem somewhat rhetorical, for BARB this is a serious question.

There are however issues that have arisen in terms of defining what TV-like content actually is. Within the definitions provided by BARB, no mention was given to content length. Despite this, broadcasters would argue that their own short-form content should be considered as TV-like content. This claim could be supported even more if the short-form content came straight from a full length TV programme. Would a 30 second extract of a popular TV show not be considered TV-like content given that extracted from a full episode? The same can be asked of compilation content.

Ultimately, this is a process of putting an objective definition on something which could almost be described as subjective. We know that TV content is any content that is produced for the viewing on a TV set which can be broadcasted through numerous channels, such as over-the-air or cable. The issue is then, how do you describe TV-like content? Let alone measure it? It will be interesting to see what answers BARB provides over the coming months and years, and to see the impact that these answers have on broadcasters and media agencies.

Full Article on Video Week