The State of Viewership

Amanda Festa
Content Marketing Manager
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Ask a Samba TV Expert: A deep dive into Samba TV viewership insights

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Author
Amanda Festa
Content Marketing Manager
Sep 16, 2021
4
MINUTES 
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At Samba TV, we love numbers and we love sharing our TV data and viewership insights with you. We sat down with Dr. Jeffrey Silverman, Director of Data Science & Analytics at Samba TV, to pick his brain and share insight into some of our most asked questions. 

How does Samba TV get its data?

We gather opt-in viewership data from millions of smart TVs that have our content ID technology embedded in them. These TVs are sold under 24 different brands. Our content identification technology analyzes what’s on a TV in real-time. We measure content that crosses that TV screen regardless of the device used to play it, whether it be an external streaming device, gaming system, or computer. Because our proprietary technology is embedded in the TV itself and identifies what’s seen on the screen, our data leverages household-level TV viewership, but does not identify co-viewing (i.e. the number of people watching within each household).

Can you share a few thoughts on how Samba TV’s data is different from others in the market?

Our data sets are agnostic and representative. Because we're gathering opt-in data from the TV itself and not from one content provider in particular, our first-party data sets are agnostic. As the industry’s only independent and agnostic first-party TV data provider, our TV data is uniquely neutral and representative. For our brand and agency customers, having a neutral data provider that isn't operating as a walled garden or limited to certain platforms is pivotal. 

Our data sets are not dependent on cookies. Samba TV’s identity graph identifies with 90%+ accuracy which digital devices belong to specific households without cookies or mobile ad IDs, instead using the SambaID identifier, as part of our Samba TV Identity solution. This means, in a cookie-less future, Samba TV’s Identity Solutions is an advertiser’s best friend. Learn more about Samba TV Identity here.

Our data insights are timely. While others have to wait days or even weeks for viewership insights, ours are available quickly so that neutral and accurate insights are available when you want them. Give our Real-time TV Viewership Dashboard a try and get a quick look at how many households are tuning into channels and programs right now in the U.S., U.K., Germany, or Australia. Access the dashboard here.

How does Samba TV’s content identification work?

Our proprietary content identification technology is powered by Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) video fingerprinting, which provides high quality and representative opt-in television viewership data, identifying content through cues or codes that are matched back to a source database for verification.

Our identification process is content agnostic, recognizing broadcast, cable, streaming, gaming, and commercials that can be tied to a specific household. Additionally, it captures key behaviors associated with TV viewership such as ad-skipping, time-shifting, cord-cutting, and binge-watching, which helps brands better understand the viewing habits of their target audience.

Understanding content viewership and consumer behaviors are key aspects of how Samba TV is bridging the gap between TV and digital by providing key data and insights on video consumption and TV advertising effectiveness.  Learn more about how Samba TV uses video-based ACR

How does this translate to digital devices?

While TVs equipped with Samba TV’s content identification technology are the anchor of a household, Samba TV uses multiple identifiers to connect other digital devices to the same household. Our Samba TV Identity solutions combine our Content ID technology with robust first-party data, creating a scalable and addressable ID graph for real-time syncing and advanced analytics.

How does Samba TV Identity work?

As mobile ID and cookies fade, advanced solutions are required for targeting and measurement. Samba TV Identity solutions are positioned to address the challenges presented by a post-cookie future.

Our proprietary identifier, SambaID, is part of this solution. SambaID is a privacy-compliant and device-level identifier that can identify at the household, person, or device level (including all digital devices – phones, tablets, PCs, etc.).

As consumers bounce from device to device (with multiple unique identifiers) over the course of a day, marketers are challenged with mapping this journey while simultaneously trying to understand the overall impact of their advertising plan. Samba TV Identity – and SambaID – solves this problem by providing the much-needed deduplication.

The result is an accurate, scaled cross-device identity graph that helps control reach and frequency and allows marketers to accurately attribute their ROI across all channels. Learn more about Samba TV Identity.

How do you ensure that an entire country's population is measured accurately?

When we want to understand how a population behaves, but we can’t survey everyone in the country, using a panel that is representative of the general population allows us to accurately report on viewership behavior – even accounting for those without a Samba-enabled TV.

Our panel in the U.S., for example, is composed of millions of households that allows us to meet the size and diversity requirements needed for an accurate panel. It’s then filtered and weighted to be closely projected to data from the U.S. Census (with 0.0003% to 0.007% accuracy).

To ensure our panels are fully representative and diverse, our panels use a mix of TVs from multiple manufacturers. This separates our data from television manufacturers and walled gardens who only source data from their own brand.

When selecting TVs for our panel, we also use a variety of TV data attributes to filter out TVs that are either sending unreliable data or are not behaving like household TVs (whether this be an IP usage pattern inconsistent with a household, or more devices within a household than would be reasonably expected). This helps filter out restaurants, stores, airports, etc.

Once we have a robust panel, we then map devices to their geographic location by designated market area (DMA), as well as demographic American Consumer Society (ACS) attributes – age, gender, income, and ethnicity. Samba TV’s insights span across each of the 210 DMAs in the U.S., allowing for granular local insights.

We similarly scale panels internationally, ensuring that each country’s panel is normalized and curated to be accurately representative of the population. Geographically, in the U.K. we look at BBC Regions; in Germany, German States; and in Australia, AU TAM Regions. Normalizing our panel data to a country’s population ensures our panels are  representative and allows us to measure with statistical significance and accuracy while also remaining privacy compliant.

How do you keep your data up to date?

To ensure our data sets are comprehensive and representative, Samba TV consistently updates our panels to account for changes. For example, people may move, get a new TV, or opt-in or -out of Samba TV. These routine updates ensure our panels are accurate and reliable so that marketers and publishers are provided with the most comprehensive view into their campaigns and content.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to Samba TV.

Why Samba TV?

Our mission is to create data at the heart of TV, powering a more scientific approach to advertising and a better viewing experience for everyone.

Real-Time Disruption in Real-World Viewership

Audiences are enjoying more television content today. As viewership rapidly shifts across a growing set of innovative platforms, formats and devices, we provide real-time insights to help drive business decisions.

For the Love of Television

Samba TV enables marketers to build engaged audiences, and empowers viewers to spend more time with programming and brands they love. We believe data should be independent, not monopolised by walled gardens that measure their own media.

We Turn Noise into Knowledge

We utilize our AI/ML driven tech stack and comprehensive, accurate first-party data that is gathered from 24 leading CTV brands globally, to power real-time decision making and optimise audiences' consumer journey across an expanding slate of platforms.

Why Samba TV?

Our mission is to create data at the heart of TV, powering a more scientific approach to advertising and a better viewing experience for everyone.

Real-Time Disruption in Real-World Viewership

Audiences are enjoying more television content today. As viewership rapidly shifts across a growing set of innovative platforms, formats and devices, we provide real-time insights to help drive business decisions.

For the Love of Television

Samba TV enables marketers to build engaged audiences, and empowers viewers to spend more time with programming and brands they love. We believe data should be independent, not monopolized by walled gardens that measure their own media.

We Turn Noise into Knowledge

We utilize our AI/ML driven tech stack and comprehensive, accurate first-party data that is gathered from 24 leading CTV brands globally, to power real-time decision making and optimize audiences' consumer journey across an expanding slate of platforms.

“Samba gave us the platform to reach our audience and stay top of mind”

Aina Bolstad, Senior Marketing Comms Manager, Microsoft

"Partnering with Samba a second time allowed us to understand the role of each medium & environment in our video plans. This partnership continues to give us insights we can use to optimize in a way we were previously unable."

Sarah Leidy, Manager, Southwest Airlines

“Using high-quality data sources, like Samba, to help us identify readers who engage in specific behavior is becoming a valuable enhancement to our strategies for finding the right people on BuzzFeed."

Josh Peters, Buzzfeed, Director of Data Partnerships