Nielsen Talk: Cross-Platform Video with Tremor Video’s Bill Day

Nielsen Talk: Cross-Platform Video with Tremor Video’s Bill Day

The dynamic nature of today’s video landscape continues to see changes in both technology and audiences, driving the need for content creators and advertisers to understand how and where people are consuming video and in turn, how to efficiently measure and monetize that consumption across platforms. In the Nielsen Talk series, we’ll be spotlighting the perspective of esteemed contributors to the media industry who have a fresh perspective on how to navigate today’s ever-evolving media world.

To kick off this series, we spoke with Bill Day, CEO of Tremor Video.

Bill Day is an Internet pioneer with a proven track record of identifying emerging technologies to serve the needs of consumers, the media community and investors. Prior to leading Tremor Video, he served as CEO of video ad-tech company ScanScout. He’s a co-founder of, where he served as President and as CEO, and has held leadership roles at behavioral targeting firm MeMedia Marchex, and Prodigy.

Q: For a long time, digital was dominated by direct response advertising, but it’s now attracting more and more brand dollars. What do you think was/is the tipping point?

Sight, sound and motion are incredibly powerful for brand storytelling. That’s why TV has worked so well for brands over the last 60 years. As more and more content moved online (along with eyeballs), digital became more attractive as a complement to TV reach and frequency. eMarketer predicts the video market will reach $9 billion in 2016. That growth can be attributed, in my estimation, to the explosion of professionally produced content across devices (and expressly for digital), the rise of interactive creative and digital’s unique targeting and reporting. Brands are learning more and more about their true audiences, digging deep into data and uncovering what drives performance. The tipping point will be when advertisers are able to buy all their video programmatically in an easy, scalable and accountable way.

Q: How is the availability of premium video content changing the dynamic of advertising online and across channels?

With this newfound availability comes great opportunity for advertisers to reach and engage their audiences everywhere. But with great opportunity comes great responsibility to “figure it all out” and act quickly. No one would argue the video industry right now is complicated and overly complex for buyers. As an industry, we need to commit to greater transparency and clarity around how and with whom we do business. The end result will benefit the entire ecosystem as buyers grow as comfortable investing in digital on all screens as they do the biggest screen in the house.

Q: How are channels like connected TV in the mix? You recently commissioned a Nielsen study on connected TV audiences. What did you learn?

Advertisers need to pay attention to connected TV, like yesterday. Connected TV (CTV) ownership in the U.S. has reached critical mass, with 83 million Americans actively watching content. That’s over one-quarter of the U.S. population, to put it into context. You’d expect that audience to be young, male, early adopters. In fact, over 96 percent of CTV viewers are over the age of 18. They overwhelmingly like the current experience. And 34 percent are women 25-54. The onus now falls squarely on content creators/owners to feed the CTV pipeline, for their own benefit clearly, but also to attract more brand marketing dollars. The bottom line is consumers have more video choices than ever, and they’re watching it on all their screens agnostically. As marketers, we too need to think more like consumers who see the content first and the screen second. Thankfully the technology exists to take the guesswork out of choosing which screens to invest in and parsing budgets.

Q: You recently spoke about the factors that will prompt (and prevent) TV buyers to invest in digital. Would you be able to elaborate?

TV buyers want three essential elements from video before they’ll move significant investments: Premium placement and transparency; brand-performance optimization and measurement; and programmatic work flow. The shifts in TV and video consumption are a boon to marketers who can now tap both to achieve brand goals. But TV buyers have unique needs that have to be addressed in an easy, scalable and accountable way before those investments cascade across screens.

Q: Regarding programmatic, what are the misconceptions around programmatic and premium content?

Two misconceptions are pervasive: the conflation of programmatic with real-time bidding and that it provides access solely to low-quality, long-tail inventory. Real-time bidding (RTB) is a communications protocol to facilitate programmatic or a way of buying via technology. Programmatic is simply a broad description of how things work, similar to other automated system we use in our daily lives, for example, a Metrocard for the subway. Publishers have a number of programmatic ways to sell their premium content, in addition to RTB, like private marketplaces that depend on pre-negotiated prices and are facilitated by technology.

Now, if programmatic is just about work flow efficiency, why can’t it work for premium content? It can absolutely. There will always be a managed-service aspect to advertising where deals are made through relationship selling. Introducing technology into the mix benefits publishers of premium content and advertisers eager to associate their brand with that high-production-value, TV-like environment.

In 2011, Tremor Video became the first online video advertising platform to adopt Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings™. Tremor Video remains at the forefront of campaign measurement through its recent integration of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings functionality for mobile apps and browsers.