Ampersand Rolls Out ‘Total TV’ to Measure Multi-Screen Data

Advertising sales and data company Ampersand is stepping up to promote its Total TV Measurement solution at a time when the go-to industry ratings firm, Nielsen, is under fire. Total TV is designed to help advertisers strategize and purchase multi-screen marketing campaigns. Ampersand is owned by Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox Communications, and sells network, spot and addressable advertising that targets viewers based on viewing data from 40 million set-top box households. Ampersand reaches 85 million households across more than 150 networks.

The company’s new Total TV Measurement intends to deliver to marketers two missing components they’ve been seeking: an understanding of unduplicated reach in multi-screen campaigns, and the ability to exert a degree of control over the frequency in which heavy TV users are sometimes oversaturated with the same commercial, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

Ampersand president Andrew Ward explained that his firm’s new offering measures all media — including network, spot and addressable — whether sold by Ampersand or not, to identify audiences that are being over-served and underserved. Based on that data, Ampersand can identify inventory to more effectively reach underserved audiences, making campaigns more efficient, he claims.

“We’re not necessarily looking to replace Nielsen as a currency. That being said, we do think there’s a migration away from panel survey data to more deterministic census-level data,” Ward noted in an interview with Broadcasting & Cable. He said Ampersand can link its set-top data to brands, identifying “Ford families and truck buyers for automotive advertisers, for example,” as well as to measure the performance of its campaigns.

Ward said Ampersand will continue working with Nielsen and others, including iSpot.tv, but that the company “needed to build its own platform to secure the unique data assets that it has and be able to use them while protecting consumers’ privacy.”

Ampersand’s position is that in the new multi-screen environment, television ad sales are going to rely on richer data, more precise delivery and measurement, and greater levels of accountability. “How do we protect the $70 billion television marketplace? By introducing richer data, and better targeting capabilities across a multi-screen environment,” Ward told Broadcasting & Cable.

At least one observer seems sold. Brian McCord, senior vice president, executive director of media strategy at ad agency RPA said that “Ampersand’s Total TV measurement has empowered RPA and our clients with access to multi-screen insights, which was not possible before,” as reported by TV Tech.

The learnings, he elaborated, have been “instrumental to our strategic planning team, enabling them to plan the most effective and efficient campaigns that drive real business outcomes for our clients. RPA uses this tool to navigate planning across all TV to ensure we understand the unique viewership of our target audience and can collaborate with our investment teams accordingly.”