Monday, April 06, 2009

Lucky Us. We Can Now Waste As Much Money Online As We Do Off.

The big news today is that Mindshare, along with YuMe, have teamed up to allow online video to be purchased on a gross-ratings-point basis, the same way that TV is purchased.

I believe that this is supposed to be good news. Although, for the life of me, I can't figure out why. We all know that buying TV is one of the least efficient media buys possible. Waste runs rampant.

But now it seems as if the industry bigwigs have found out how to waste just as much money online as they do off. I don't get it.

Oh, I know, this will make it easier for the media agencies to compare online and offline. Apples to apples, so to speak. The only problem is that using GRP's makes both apples rotten to the core.

I'm sure that the hope is that this will allow dollars to flow more freely from offline to online. And, no doubt, some advertisers will be fooled into doing just that.

But the online platform is about performance and accountability, not reach and frequency. Continuing to base value primarily on GRP's means there is no reason to differentiate between a commercial delivered on TV and one delivered online.

But the two work very differently indeed.

Today, there are a wide number of metrics available online that can verify the effectiveness of an impression. After all, not all impressions are created equal. Each impression, when it comes to video, has a time component to it. Isn't an impression that is watched, more valuable than one that isn't?

GRPs ignore this. They treat all impressions as equal.

The President of YuMe put it this way. "We can now start to say, that the same million dollars you spent for the TV buy, you can have it run for a month on these sites and you will get the equivalent."

He's right. And that's exactly what we should be worried about.

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