“Twitter’s a great platform, but they’re not creating the content,” added Lucas. “They’re amplifying content, which is a very different thing. We need to monetize it and measure it because people are consuming more content and someone has to pay for that content to be made.”
Dan Lovinger, EVP of entertainment ad sales for NBCUniversal, agreed, saying he puts more emphasis on where content originated than how it’s consumed.
“It’s up to us [as networks and publishers] to push for better measurement so we can monetize our content and not go the way of the music industry,” Lovinger said. “I see Instagram and Snapchat as amplification opportunities.”
On the march toward digital monetization, there will be greater diversity in revenue streams, predicted Marianne Gambelli, EVP and chief investment officer at Horizon Media.
Even though NBC, for instance, wants to drive up viewership for its own TV Everywhere apps, it recognizes such tentpole events as the Olympics offer unique amplification opportunities on Twitter.
Opening up network content to digital channels will create demand for deeper measurement and more attribution. For instance – if a consumer sees an ad in their WatchESPN app on their Roku device, who’s responsible for the impression?
“With Sling TV (DISH’s new over-the-top offering priced at $20 a month) the ratings will go back to the original server, so if (an ad is attributed back to) Viacom’s feed, Viacom will get the impression,” said Gambelli. “You’ll (start to see credit) go back to the source of the content, since they’re the ones forking over a majority of money.”
All the panelists agreed – Nielsen is the measurement apparatus the television community grew up with, but with a majority of content consumption rapidly moving to mobile, samples and proxies won’t cut it anymore.
As if on cue, Nielsen separately revealed Wednesday it is developing a metric that gauges “tweets per impression” to measure the social impact of TV ad impressions, Variety reported.
Although Nielsen’s developed Twitter TV ratings in the past, this represents further effort to quantify the benefits of “off-air” amplification.