Measuring OTT beyond verification: 3 important questions to ask

December 10, 2019 | 3 minute read
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Consumer behavior in the television space is changing at a rapid pace. While a large portion of the population still watch traditional linear TV, the way people are watching it is shifting. Digital provides more choice than ever before and as new formats and devices continue to hit the market, it’s changing the way we think about media.

With the rise of over-the-top (OTT) services and connected devices, how can brands and publishers effectively track their media beyond just verifying that ads were seen and where? Here are some questions to ask as you think about solving measurement challenges in the new world of TV viewing.


  1. How are you tracking baseline impressions?

A fragmented ecosystem means different software versions, constant updates, and media that is difficult to categorize, so getting a set baseline for impression is one of the most important components for tracking OTT. Here are two more questions to ask:

  • What devices are your OTT measurement covering? (see chart below for Moat)

  • Can you identify invalid traffic while avoiding false positives such as Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) or a binge-watcher?


  1. Are you tracking the right attention metrics?

Once you’ve set your baselines, it’s time to go even deeper with your measurement. There have been many advances since ratings became the currency for television. We now have access to a plethora of signals to gauge true value from the entire audience, not just a fraction of viewers. But even with the digital impression metrics available, it’s possible to get data to understand true audience attention.

We can use the latest technology in OTT to thoroughly measure attention the same way we would on established digital channels. For example, there are certain questions to ask about a video ad, no matter where it’s served:

  • Was it played?

  • Was it visible?

  • Was it audible?

  • How much of it was audible?

  • How much of it was played?

  • How many collective hours did people watch it for?


You should be able to answer these questions on OTT, just like you can on other digital channels. These are the types of measurements that directly correlate with sales and brand affinity, so it’s important to get it right.



  1. What is your zoomed out view of measurement beyond OTT?

With 80% of internet traffic expected to be video by 2021 (source: Cisco), video is becoming a dominant medium of communication. This is happening across different screens and devices. Does your measurement have cross-channel granularity, including app vs program level? Measurement must be consistent across emerging formats. It’s important to think of OTT as part of a bigger picture when it comes to your media mix.

The future of OTT measurement

The industry will continue to become smarter and more advanced about what types of data is available for tracking, including new areas of risk for viewability, such as:

  • Menu obstructions

  • Picture in picture

  • HDMI cable disconnection

  • TV off while a connected device is still running


It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to investing in OTT. But as more services become available and connected device adoption increases, the time to set solid measurement standards is now. Answering these questions will start you in the right direction to ensuring that your budget is wisely spent.


Want to learn more about effectively measuring your OTT investments? Check out our webinar, now streaming.

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