One of our ace researchers on the CMO and marketing leadership team, Mike Glantz, pulled together this blog post to follow up on a report we collaborated on a few months back, "TV's Currency Conversion" (client access required), which discussed the merging of Nielsen data and set-top box and other census-level data. Although television is the overall dominant advertising medium in US, marketers are seeing audience fragmentation across the spectrum of broadcast and cable networks. In the digital world, online video viewership continues to grow and enables marketers to target niche audiences with relative precision, compared with TV. However, marketers have been hesitant to see online video and TV as two sides of the same coin because there has not been a common measurement to link the two media, and digital video is perceived to lack the massive reach that TV currently enjoys.

In response to this, measurement companies and advertising vendors from both sides are coming to together to create cross-media metrics. Last week, Rentrak and Collective, an online display and video network, announced a new collaborative effort to release a cross-media measurement system. The system, which combines the data and targetability of Collective and the TV measurement panel of Rentrak, allows marketers to make meaningful comparisons between online video and TV audiences and aims to elevate online video to the level of TV. This latest development is part of a larger trend of online video and TV converging. Last week, MStar and Channel TV recently announced a plan to bring behavioral targeting to TV ads, and Simulmedia, a television advertising startup, presented this week on using data aggregation to leverage untapped value in smaller cable networks.

How will/should marketers respond to these efforts to unify online video and TV? Will marketers eventually form “video” budgets that put TV and online video in one bucket? We are planning some upcoming research on how marketers should approach TV and online video and would love to hear your opinion below or in The Forrester Community for CMO & Marketing Leadership Professionals.