Ruchika Jha

Comscore aims for a comprehensive understanding of CTV consumption focussed on advertising front

The collective research and insights will be compiled into a report and published by the end of 2024.

India is witnessing a significant rise in the adoption of connected television (CTV) nationwide, driven by various factors such as widespread internet accessibility, increasingly affordable smart TV prices, and more.

OTT platforms like JioCinema, Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, and Prime Video are encouraging users to switch to CTV for a better viewing experience. JioCinema, in its ads for IPL 2024, is promoting CTV because it matches well with cricket's appeal as a family sport.

Alejandro Fosk, EVP - international, Comscore, a global media measurement and analytics company, states that Comscore will be launching a CTV project in India for broadcasters and publishers who produce video stories as well, considering it a significant medium. It will conduct surveys and in-depth interviews to gain a first glance at what the system looks like.

We are always interested in everything related to advertising.

He further shares that Comscore is one of the very few companies in the world that is receiving YouTube’s traffic and information directly from the platform, which is why it is launching a CTV study in India. The study has already been launched in the US and Latin America and received success, with India being the third market in line.

“We want to get a very comprehensive understanding of CTV consumption mainly focussed on the advertising side because one can think about CTV from different angles ranging from the technology to the hardware part. But we are always interested in everything related to advertising.”

The CTV study will have both quantitative and qualitative aspects. In the quantitative study, the company will conduct 4,000 interviews across India to understand the profile and perceptions of advertising among users across different regions.

Regarding the qualitative study, Comscore will conduct around 20-25 in-depth interviews with industry leaders on CTV, covering their expertise, challenges, opportunities, and all aspects related to the advertising world. These insights will be compiled into a report.

“We will also be tracking CTVs from our end and that will be used to get accurate information. We will begin with the interviews between September and October this year and will release the study by the end of 2024,” he explains.

The Social Incremental tool

On April 3, 2024, Comscore announced the inclusion of a new tool called Social Incremental in its MMX multi-platform suite for the markets of India, Argentina, France, Mexico, the United States, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Social Incremental involves combining social audiences with traditional desktop and mobile to provide a deduplicated total audience number, ensuring fairness in measurement across desktop and mobile platforms.

India had a total consumption of over 440 billion hours on the internet in 2023 and out of this, social media consumption was around 125 billion hours.

It offers a deduplicated view of audiences across desktop, mobile, and social platforms, empowering publishers and brands to measure their comprehensive total digital population. Fosk emphasises that Comscore tracks audience behaviour as it evolves over time.

“Social networks have now become a very important part of media consumption, especially for the younger audience. As per a Comscore report, India had a total consumption of over 440 billion hours on the internet in 2023 and out of this, social media consumption was around 125 billion hours, therefore showing over 25% of all the time spent on the internet,” he says.

Currently, the company does not reflect this 25% of time consumption in its report. This is where Social Incremental comes into play. Through this tool, it will now incorporate social measurements, audience, and unique users from mainly two to three platforms that represent most of the traffic, namely X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and Instagram.

The target audience for the Social Incremental tool is publishers and broadcasters in India. According to Fosk, this tool will be essential for them as they have a significant social media audience but were previously only reporting a portion of it. Now, they will report their entire audience.

Before the introduction of this tool, publishers faced certain challenges. Even Fosk agrees that the industry is highly dynamic and challenging on a daily basis. Various actors are emerging, competing, and participating in publishers' and broadcasters' investments.

India as a unique market

Fosk believes that one of the unique characteristics of the Indian market is mobile consumption. It boasts one of the highest penetrations of mobile users globally. Another distinguishing feature, not as prevalent in other markets, is the diversity of languages across different regions, which contributes to its strong regional profile.

However, he adds that the strong regional factor also poses a significant challenge when it comes to measuring and providing insights because if it provides only one insight for the whole market, it may be satisfactory but not comprehensive enough.

“Therefore, we also provide regional measurements as part of Comscore and that is an extremely important indicator of India more than in any other market that I have seen so far.”

The path ahead

Apart from the Social Incremental tool and the study on CTV measurement, Comscore has also undertaken a strategic initiative for the Indian market.

We will also start collecting first-party cookies as that will allow us to have a correct measurement.

With Google again postponing its cookie phase-out plans, Fosk says that the company is currently working to be the first in the market to allow publishers and broadcasters to accurately report their numbers without losing the unique visitors that come from third-party cookies.

“Through this, the cookies are converted into visitors and we cannot lose that sight and that is an important thing that we are working on. We will also start collecting first-party cookies as that will allow us to have a correct measurement. We will provide that to the websites while not inflicting any privacy concerns. We are already working with our partners and clients so that they are well prepared and we can make a smooth transition from third-party to first-party cookies,” he conveys.

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