More than 80 TV stations are using Sorensen Media’s Spark Station Analytics, powered by Inscape’s second-by-second data to better understand viewership habits and trends. With this data, local broadcasters can benefit from both the scale of the broadcast and the accuracy of digital targeting. With the internet connectivity of smart TVs, it’s now even easier to understand station performance — including device-based audience share, audience flow and demographic information.
The combined analytics will provide a near-instant read on the segments, shows and dayparts keeping viewers tuned in, as well as to-the-second detail on when viewers are tuning out. Customizable reporting allows broadcasters to compare shows to local and cable competition to understand trends and averages over time.
An obvious benefit to this sort of data: quickly adjusting and customizing programming to fit a specific audience. This mimics the targeting abilities of digital programming and advertising, which have access to more viewer data — but typically, smaller audiences — at the onset.
Inscape SVP of Sales and Marketing Jodie McAfee notes the knowledge gap this partnership fills for broadcasters, adding that “Utilizing (this) data from smart TVs will reshape the way TV is measured and acted upon probably faster than many realize.”
“This data not only gives broadcasters more accurate timely data, it also lays the groundwork for the growth of programmatic and addressable advertising, creating better experiences for consumers, at scale,” said Stefan Maris, SVP of Product Strategy & Partnerships from Sorenson Media.
The video playback from Spark Analytics also enables clients to view multiple shows alongside minute-by-minute viewership data. That sort of detail on attention metrics sets the stage for more time-sensitive programming decisions, and creates near real-time reporting on advertiser and viewer impressions.
TV[R]EV analyst Alan Wolk sees this as a large step toward a premium on local ad inventory:
“Local broadcasters are an important part of the TV economy and are increasingly a driving factor for linear tune-in,” said Wolk. “And as TV changes to become more addressable, the local ad inventory will become more of a premium because it has a higher likelihood of driving someone to a store or dealership and it will be easier to test and quantify in pockets.”
With audiences flocking to streaming services, it’s now more important than ever for local broadcast stations to keep viewers engaged. By using some of the tools of streaming — addressable, customized programming — these stations stand a great chance to maintain (and grow) relevance for both viewers and advertisers.
The industry’s already taken notice since the news hit this morning. Check out additional coverage of the Inscape/Sorensen Media partnership below: