Measuring TV Advertising ReachWith the Precision of Audio Watermarking

In 1995, the world spent 0.88% of global GDP on all forms of advertising. About 45% was spent on TV and radio (35%, 10%). That 45% was $107B in today’s money.

In 2015, the world will spend around 0.66% of global GDP on advertising and, of that, around 45% will be spent on TV and radio (39%, 6%). That 45% is going to be around $243B.

Global ad spend has more than doubled in the last 20 years but global GDP has grown even faster, and apparently not as a result of spending more money on advertising. That is a question for economists to fathom. Our question is: How did TV and radio hang on to their 45% share when the global total advertising spend has been so disrupted by digital and mobile?

In 1995, the global spend on Internet advertising was effectively zero. In 2015, the Internet advertising spend will be $140B, or about 25% of global spend. Yet TV and radio still command their 45%.

Can that 45% continue? Digital/Internet/mobile advertising has only just begun and has already taken 25% of global advertising spend. Digital is accountable and quantifiable in so many ways that are not available to media sellers or buyers of billboards, bus sides and print media.

TV and radio media rates are set according to audience sizes, which are calculated with surprising accuracy from the measured activity of relatively small research panels. That same science is now available independently to advertisers.

Audio watermarking is one of the very few technologies that can be used to prove beyond doubt that a certain audience member was exposed to a certain broadcast commercial.

For advertisers, it is trivial to insert unique audio watermark ID data into every single commercial they make and pay to be broadcast…to audiences who will sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to avoid watching commercial breaks.

By setting up small, but statistically significant panels, with volunteers tactically distributed throughout whole populations, it is possible to log real exposure to adverts just by giving the panelists special smartphones apps with our audio watermark decoders.