This past week, I was in Chicago for the Beet.TV Leadership Summit at Starcom's offices to talk about the future of TV and video. The event featured a great mix of digital video sellers, media agencies, data platforms, and measurement companies, all trying to understand where video media buying is headed and what the future of cross-platform media measurement might look like.

TV watching has always been a relatively simple activity. The TV set was traditionally the only place to go for video entertainment, and people made time in their day to tune in to their favorite programs. Advertisers measured who saw their ad by how many people tuned in to the show that they bought a spot in. Gross ratings points (GRPs) came to be the industrywide-accepted currency of measuring how many times your target audience saw your ad. Today, things are quite different:

  • Consumers have more choice than ever in where they watch. On top of the hundreds of cable channels on TV, viewers can also watch content on their connected devices (laptop, smartphone, tablet) or an ever-increasing variety of Internet-connected devices that allow them to stream content from the Web to their TV and bypass their cable TV subscription entirely.
  • Consumers no longer watch TV distraction-free. Our latest data says that more than two-thirds of Americans now use a connected device while they watch TV. In addition to refrigerator and bathroom breaks, marketers now need to compete with these devices to capture the attention spans of their audiences.
  • Consumers are increasingly engaging with what they are watching on TV. Social media has brought the watercooler online and transformed TV from a passive experience into a participatory one where viewers can discuss shows and interact with shows and brands as they are watching.

With all of this new behavior, how do marketers accurately measure the performance of their TV and digital video advertising? Marketers need new metrics that go deeper than tune-in that focus on engagement, ad effectiveness, and audiences across multiple platforms and devices. As TV and digital video converge, which currency will be adopted as the new standard for planning across both? In my new report (client access required), I look at:

  • Why GRPs will become the standard metric for cross-platform media buying.
  • How the role of GRPs will steadily diminish as a planning and measurement metric to make way for more granular metrics.
  • How marketers will plan single marketing campaigns that span linear TV and digital video channels.

Are you a marketer or media agency thinking about TV and digital video as a single marketing channel to reach and engage your customers? Do you think that GRPs have a future as a buying currency across linear TV and digital video? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below or in The Forrester Community For CMO And Marketing Leadership Professionals.