Planet of the Apes: Charlton Heston’s character Taylor has his 'anagnorisis' moment
Planet of the Apes: Charlton Heston’s character Taylor has his 'anagnorisis' moment
A view from Simon Redican

The penny drops: how publishers can measure up best amid digital doubts

The UK publishing industry's new measurement currency can help owners of trusted content win the share of advertising they deserve.

Planet of the Apes concludes with one of the most iconic moments in movie history. Charlton Heston’s character Taylor rides his horse onto a deserted beach, where he is confronted by a semi-submerged Statue of Liberty (pictured above).

At that moment he and the audience have an epiphany, "You blew it up! Ah damn you! Goddamn you all to hell!"

We realise that the human race finally unleashed nuclear Armageddon.

These moments, which Aristotle called "anagnorisis", are the moment the scales fall from our eyes and we see things as they really are, and not as we had mistakenly thought them to be.

Marc Pritchard of Procter & Gamble’s speech to the IAB Leadership meeting in January was just such a moment.

There is growing recognition in the industry that the unstoppable tide of revenue to pure-play digital has gone too far.

From Newsworks and Magnetic to the IPA and Ebiquity and from Thinkbox to the RAB, the effectiveness evidence is overwhelming that content sectors are the best drivers of long-term brand health.

Underpinning this effectiveness are trusted editorial environments, measured by jointly funded industry currencies, which provide trust and transparency.

On pancake day 2017, the Publishers Audience Measurement Company (PAMCo) held an event for 200 stakeholders from agencies and publishers. They shared with them details of the new industry currency, which couldn’t be better timed to capitalise on this moment of industry change, and which can help flip the commercial fortunes of publishers.

AMP (Audience Measurement for Publishers) will launch to the market in February 2018. For the first time, advertisers, agencies and publishers will have a single view of audience across platforms, enabling them to plan de-duplicated reach and frequency for print and all digital channels.

However, AMP will only make a difference commercially if agencies and publishers use the data in a totally different way to NRS.

We set out a challenge to attendees to spend 2017 re-inventing their commercial approaches and to use AMP to transform industry fortunes.

Here are six challenges:

  • For publishers to sell the sector above all else and to use AMP data and insight to do so.
  • We can be confident AMP will unlock large untapped digital audiences for reach and frequency planning. Will agencies and publishers begin commercial conversations to explore how this can be exploited from February 2018?
  • AMP is a multi-platform currency. Will publishers’ audience packages be multi-platform, easily articulated and easy to plan and buy?
  • How could AMP be a programmatic currency?
  • AMP is a single source currency measuring audiences across all platforms. Will agencies and publishers make the most of this opportunity to update how the medium is planned and bought? No longer is it necessary to plan the apples and pears of format and impressions. I would seriously explore how ratings could be the planning and trading currency.
  • Will agency teams and sales teams be structured in such a way that they make the most of AMP? I would urge them to appoint a commercial champion for AMP now.

This couldn’t be a more propitious time for AMP to launch into a multi-platform world.

The ability to advertise in professional content, delivered in trusted environments, has never been more necessary for brands that realise there has been too much focus on short-term metrics.

I’m sure agencies and publishers will seize this moment to help transform industry fortunes, for their own benefit and most importantly for the paying advertisers.

Simon Redican is the chief executive at PAMCo.

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