Changing How TV Ads Will Be Measured

Google changing how TV ads are tracked and measured.

Google is an innovator. Nearly everything the company does is a game changer.

Google is an innovator. Nearly everything the company does is a game changer. Of all the services you’d expect Google to add to its list of accolades though, you might not expect ad-measurement to be one of them, but that’s exactly what they aim to do next. Through their Google Fiber service, the tech giant is testing a system that could revolutionize the way TV advertisements and ad revenue are measured, tracked and generated.

In Kansas City, Missouri, one of the three areas where Google Fiber is active, Google is testing a system that can measure TV ads with more precision; much in the same way advertisements are tracked online. This new method will allow advertisers to see exactly how many times their ads have been viewed and it will also give companies more accurate data on ad revenue generation.

Traditionally, TV ads have been measured using the Nielsen Ratings System, which was originally developed for measuring the sizes of radio audiences before transitioning to television in the 1950s. Though the Nielsen Ratings are the standard, there has been much widespread criticism of the system, including accusations of bias, inaccuracy, and even questioning the relevance and necessity of the system itself.

In an interview with Adweek, Google summed up their new system thusly:

“Fiber TV ads will be digitally delivered in real time and can be matched based on geography, the type of program being shown (sports, news, etc.), or viewing history.”

“Like digital ads, advertisers will only pay for ads that have been shown, and can limit the number of times an ad is shown to a given TV. We’re excited to see how this test progresses, and we’re looking forward to hearing from local businesses and viewers along the way.”

The company did say it was taking user privacy very seriously on this new initiative, but also admitted that it’s in the early stages:

“The tracking at this point is pretty unsophisticated.”

Photo via Flickr/espensorvik

Photo via Flickr/espensorvik

Image via

Image via

Though ads will air during the traditional commercial breaks, the ads on Google Fiber can be tailored to a viewer’s history and the advertisers can pay based on how many times they want their ad to run. Viewers can also opt out of specific ads based on their viewing habits.

Conventionally, advertisers haven’t had the most exact methods of deducing how many people were watching their ads on TV. Once Google’s new system has been figured out, this could be a brand new day for them. And while Google’s new ad-tracking system is only available in Kansas City for the time being, you can bet it will be popping up in more and more locations sooner than you think.


Source: Adweek, Business Insider, Wikipedia

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