On March 22nd, 250 experts from the television world met in Milan at the egta Digital Next Meeting hosted by Publitalia.
In the audience all our customers in the TV world, from the RTI Group with Mediaset, Publitalia and Mediamond, to RAI and SKY Italy, but also broadcasters and international agencies.
On the stage, among other speakers, were Paola Colombo, General Manager AdTech and Business Development of Publitalia'80, and Matteo Torelli, Director Innovative Solutions of Neodata.
Together they presented the Addressable TV project that Mediaset and Neodata have implemented in the last two years. The result was a lively debate, which confirmed the validity of Mediaset's intuition and the enabling power of new technologies. The future is already here, and Matteo Torelli tells us about it.
Article by Matteo Torelli, Director Innovative Solutions, Neodata Group
At the Digital Next Meeting we’ve had the pleasure to present the digital innovation project that the Mediaset group has developed with our support: real-time TV audience measurement, device profiling based on commercial targets, adressable TV on broadcast channels, and measurement of audience interactions with advertising content, thanks to the adoption of new KPIs.
The project with Mediaset stems from a simple intuition: every connected device is a source of valuable information. Thus, back in 2016 we started to create a Mediaset Premium decoder tracking system that would allow us to know the real TV usage of Premium subscribers on terrestrial digital channels.
Real time TV audience measurement is possible
In 2017, thanks to the tracking of the connected CAMs, the measurement became real-time and finally, starting from mid-2017, the measurement system was activated on all the connected MHP / HBBTV compatible TV devices.
The results are quite extraordinary: in January 2018, the number of active devices exceeded 3 million and over 90 percent of the audience has given consent to the tracking and profiling, bringing into the platform about 2.8 million devices tracked and profiled in real time.
If the broadcaster's question is: "What's happening on my channels? What are you listening to? Did I beat the competition? "The availability of fruition data in a concise dashboard that shows easily searchable indicators is obviously the right answer. It's a complete change of paradigm compared to having to wait the next day to get some indication about the share.
Profiling the household composition
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Knowing precisely which channels are viewed by each device allows you to improve editorial analysis and identify new commercial opportunities.
For example, it is possible to know if your audience follows TV series, and what their preferences are with regards to programs and channels.
From the point of view of commercial and advertising enhancement, the goal is quite straightforward: to create interesting audience profiles for the advertising market. It is on this objective that we have concentrated and we have achieved quite promising results.
The connected audience is profiled based on a number of characteristics, such as the device used, the geographic location, the brand and model of the TV device, the speed of the internet connection, the socio-demographic profile characteristics derived from the history of television consumption.
For the latter, the Machine Learning algorithms that we have configured continuously compare and study the behavior of the device to determine the probability that the household is composed of pre-defined socio-demographic groups, such as "monocomponent family", "family with children", "Single woman between the ages of 25 and 40".
Addressable TV and the challenges of targeted delivery in real time
Beginning from these foundations, the Mediaset group was capable of offering Adressable TV on their broadcast channels.
Content and custom messages on connected TV were delivered by our ad server ad.agio, and this posed a few challenges which required some special attention.
Unlike what happens on the web, where normally requests to the adservers are distributed during the day and do not undergo particular peaks - or if they do, peaks are usually foreseeable - the products configured by Mediaset and Publitalia generate unpredictable huge peaks that must be managed in real time, delivering different targeted messages.
The ADD PLUS offer consists in providing personalized messages synchronized with the broadcast commercials, based on a set of rules
defining the connected device, while the ADD OVER offer includes personalized commercial messages into editorial contents at specific times.
This means that requests to the adserver come simultaneously from all the devices tuned to that editorial or advertising content; in a matter of 1 or 2 seconds, the adserver receives hundreds of thousands of requests to be instantly evaded, with the additional complexity of recognizing the profile and characteristics of the single device and select the appropriate message to be delivered in accordance with the objectives of each advertising campaign.
This interesting challenge was won thanks to the synergy of Mediaset’s experience and Neodata’s technological services. Starting from September 2017, dozens of profiled campaigns were broadcast
on the Mediaset group's broadcast channels. We’re going to report below two examples, that were presented at the egta event.
The first shows an ADD PLUS campaign delivered for the Volkswagen group. The aim of the campaign was to promote the new Golf TGI, splitting the offer into two target groups: one would focus on gas vehicles, promoted in areas where there is a distribution network for this type of fuel, and the other group would focus on petrol cars in other geographical areas. Thus, the geographical area in which the connected device was located determined the creativity to be delivered.
The second example shows a campaign for the Linkem customer, which was to be delivered only in areas where the Linkem service is present, and only to televisions whose connection speed did not exceed 3 MegaBit.
Like in the first example, the delivery of advertising content was subordinated to the profile characteristics of the connected device.
Thanks to this innovative technology, advertisers can now customize television campaigns and adapt them to the target, just as they do on the web. But another decisive feature of connected TV is interactivity: the viewer can interact with the television content pretty much like he does on a web page, and the interaction can be tracked and measured.
This allows the advertiser to take a further, invaluable advantage from the Addressable TV: the ability to measure the impact of the campaign in terms of time spent on the content and quantity of actions performed by the viewer interacting with the advertising.
Even the traditional post-campaign performance research, based on brand uplift and remembrance measures, receives noteworthy help: finally, today it is possible to know if and how many times a device has actually viewed a campaign, and weigh the results of the research accordingly.
The convergence between TV and the Internet is not just another trendy buzzword, and this project - concrete and validated by successful results - is proof of this. The future of TV is today, it has already begun, and is perhaps the most exciting and innovative moment for TV for decades. The transformation has already begun and what we have to do is to get ready to be part of it.