Hoping to speed the transition of ad dollars from TV to online video, media agency Mindshare and video ad network YuMe are partnering to introduce a new metric that will make it easier to compare audience between the two media.
The new metric is called iGRP, or Internet gross rating point, which plays off the classic TV metric, the gross rating point. Essentially, iGRP measures the reach and frequency of an online video ad, replacing household views with unique views.
"If I'm watching a TV show at 8PM on Tuesday, I can know pretty much how many people will at least turn that show on," said Jayant Kadambi, YuMe cofounder & president. "But in the Internet world, shows aren't watched all at the same time; people watch them when they want. So we just have to find an equivalent way to calculate how many people are watching it -- the reach -- and the number of times they watch it -- the frequency."
YuMe claims it can arrive at such a number by calculating how many people watch a video on its 500 network sites over the course of a month compared with the number of people online in general. The resulting number allows advertisers to make an apples-to-apples comparison with their TV buys, it says.
"That's the beauty of the size and breadth of our ad network," Kadambi said. "We organize our ad networks the same way TV networks do. We have 20 or 30 different channels -- sports channels, women's channels, etc. -- and we know how many people watch them over a typical month. It's no different than the TV business."
What is different, of course, is the depth of metrics available to online advertisers that TV can't offer, such as interactivity and click-throughs. Kadambi said YuMe was mindful of that, and was not looking to reduce all online video measurement to the iGRP.
"Let's not constrain the measurement of GRP on the Internet just to become as it is in TV," he said. "The Internet world is much richer in terms of measurement, so we'll offer this as a base level but also say, 'look, you're also getting these numbers.'"
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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