Online video ad buying continues to shift toward, but also improve upon, conventional TV ad buying, with the latest evidence that Adap.tv is now optimizing audience targeting against data from Nielsen and comScore.
As Toby Gabriner, Adap.tv's president, explained to me, the process starts with an algorithm the company has developed to predict a publisher's audience composition. The algorithm is based on numerous data "signals" (e.g. content type, time of day, browsing behavior, 3rd party profiling, etc.) that are continuously updated. The audience profiles are then used to focus on impressions that should index high against Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) and comScore Validated Campaign Essentials (VCE).
For buyers, the goal is to yield a better ROI, while reducing waste due to un-targeted ad buys. Adap.tv points to a recent Nielsen study which found just 55% of ads targeted to the 25-49 demographic are actually served to that audience. Toby said Adap.tv believes this is the first optimization technology for OCR and VCE, and that its beta tests have resulted in a 30% improvement in in-target audience delivery. Publishers also benefit from improved targeting as it helps them better understand the value of their inventory.
The bigger story here is that it's another example of how online video is creating more efficient ways for traditional TV ad buyers and others to reach their intended audiences. As Toby noted, in TV advertising, it's never been possible to truly optimize beyond Nielsen data. With technologies like Adap.tv's buyers and sellers are able to become smarter over time, adding more value to their transactions and increasing the ecosystem's momentum.