The complex and rapidly changing landscape of television advertising measurement has been chronicled at length over the last twelve months as trade associations, media companies and advertisers have demanded that now be the time for change.

Technology has progressed further than any other time in TV’s history. There is a want and a need to break away from the inertia that has constrained a multi-billion-dollar industry. Events in recent months have edged us from just giving measurement innovation lip service on event panels to creating a movement driven by action. 

But what’s still holding us back? Let’s start with what we know.

The lowest common denominator will continue to be the weight sinking cross-screen measurement. 

Advertisers need consistency in audience targets.

Advertisers who are running campaigns across multiple publishers or platforms need to build one consistent audience that can be used across all these different entities. The only way to achieve this consistency in audience targeting is to build audiences based on a central ID spine.

Why? Audience definitions that differ by platforms and publishers add cost and time for advertisers and mean that marketers cannot truly understand who is being reached by their campaigns, and how many are in-target. 

Advertisers need consistency in measurement.

Advertisers who are running campaigns across multiple publishers and platforms with one consistent audience also need one consistent measurement provider.

Why? Measurement that is fragmented based on specific publishers or platforms does not give advertisers a complete view of campaign performance. Measurement providers vary in methodology and reporting metrics, so if there is no consistency in how audiences are being defined and reached across screens, counting will always be a problem. Measurement will not be apples-to-apples, and advertisers will never be able to see holistic campaign performance.

Given these two truths, campaign measurement is frequently limited to the lowest common denominator– the measurement provider that is used across the greatest number of publishers or platforms included on a campaign. 

This means advertisers usually only have a single option for campaign measurement.

But, what if we didn’t have to trade choice and sophistication for measurement consistency? 

We shouldn’t be limited to the same measurement options used by publishers for billing.

Historically, the viewership data that’s been used for billing and guarantees has also been the provider of measurement. With new measurement alternatives entering the field, advertisers now have choice in measurement, even if they don’t yet have the same choices for billing currency.


ID-based audiences unlock options for measurement and allow advertisers to be measurement-agnostic, regardless of the guarantee or billing currency.

If advertisers use ID-based audiences for campaigns, they are free to select their preferred measurement currency and aren’t limited to the lowest common denominator among network billing currencies for campaign measurement. A central ID allows for viewership data to be appended to common identifiers and measured by a single currency, even if that currency was not used for billing purposes on all publishers. Common IDs create some much needed separation between measurement and billing, creating more flexibility and choice for advertisers, and ensuring sophistication of measurement is never a tradeoff for consistency.

To learn more about ID-based audiences and unified audience measurement, drop us a line.