Google is doing some very interesting things in TV and video advertising these days. Not long ago it licensed Nielsen’s PRIZM audience segmentation data for enhanced audience targeting through TVAds. Google also recently introduced “skippable” pre-roll ads on YouTube. The idea is to find willing audiences and make advertisers (potentially) only pay when someone watches the entire ad or a substantial portion of it. Now Google has done a deal with TiVo.
According to Variety:
TiVo will give highly detailed data never previously reported to Google TV ad clients. Google also has a deal with Dish Network to garner viewer information that it shares with advertisers.
New data provided will include second-by-second viewing information on who’s changing channels and when, who’s fast-forwarding through commercials and anonymous information on viewers themselves. Goal is to align advertisers with viewers who would have a natural inclination to be interested in a product.
Ultimately, Google TV measures how many people saw the ad and then goes back to the advertiser with a pricetag on how much it should pay for a 30- or 60-second spot.
There are two trends here that are converging: so-called “addressable TV” (better targeting) and performance-based ads on TV. There are others pursuing versions of one or both of these approaches: Canoe Ventures, NAVIC (acquired by Microsoft) and Spot Runner.
Although not the only one (e.g., Mixpo, TurnHere), Google is trying to bridge online video and TV and bring the performance-based ad model to TV proper. While performance-based advertising on TV will never entirely take over it could well become pervasive and change the economics of TV production in a dramatic way (read: removing money from the system).
But Google’s overall objective is laudable and consistent with the philosophy behind AdWords and AdSense: to bring better targeting and ad content to willing (TV) audiences and only make advertisers pay for those interested viewers.