Q&A with Turner's CRO, Howard Shimmel

Howard Shimmel, previously the SVP Ad Sales Sports Research at Turner is now Turner's new CRO. With some big shoes left by departing CRO Jack Wakshlag, Shimmel is amply up to the task and will continue Turner's strong tradition of strategic research. In this interview, conducted before the upfront, Shimmel started his career at Nielsen in the early days of cable.  He is an expert in cross platform audience measurement, data fusion and integration with stints at Viacom and AOL.  In this fascinating video interview, Shimmel talks about the role of research, the roll out of segmentation analysis, set top box data, Turner’s cross platform initiative All-Screen and some predictions for the media landscape going forward.  In this article, we explore the details of CNN’s recent All Screen cross platform measurement study which was recently highlighted at the 2014 CIMM Summit.

There are six videos in this interview:

Subject                                                 Length (in minutes)
Background                                                      (5:12)
Turner                                                               (6:38)
All Screen                                                         (6:23)
Nielsen and Collaboration                            (5:51)
STB Data and Segmentation                         (6:55)
Predictions                                                       (6:42)

Charlene Weisler interviews Turner's Howard Shimmel who talks about his background in this 5:12 minute video:

Howard Shimmel talks to Charlene Weisler about his work at Turner in this 6:38 minute video:

Charlene Weisler interviews Turner's Howard Shimmel who talks about the All Screen cross platform study in this 6:23 minute video:

CW: One of your big initiatives is your cross platform study called All Screen. Can you tell us some of the specifics about the study?

HS: Sure. There are two separate and distinct things that we are trying to accomplish with All Screen. First, it is really important that the market is able to understand CNN’s true breath, impact and reach across platform: TV at Home, TV out of Home, Mobile and Digital. If you think about what we get out of N-Power (Nielsen’s custom analytic system), it actually presents a very limited view both in terms of the reach and in terms of the demographic composition of CNN’s audience. So part of All Screen is working with Nielsen’s data integration experts, Pete Doe’s team, to be able to integrate TV in the home from Nielsen, TV viewing out of home from Nielsen Audio, previously Arbitron, with our own internal mobile data and our own internal digital server data. We want to be able to integrate that in a way that we can go to an advertiser and talk about the true reach of CNN across all platforms. In this way we can accurately paint a picture of how different demographics vary in their reaction across all the CNN platforms. For example, mobile is our youngest platform, digital is a little older. Being able to illustrate that to an agency or client is really important.

The other part of the study is focused around the TV in home and out of home. My people in the industry have given considerable thought to how TV usage differs in and out of home and how we can measure it. ESPN/ ABC did some great work in the 1980s with this concept. And the fact of the matter is that CNN delivers a fairly material amount of out of home TV viewing through our normal linear TV programming. Our approach is that we have taken a subset of All Screen, which is a combination of Nielsen People meter and Nielsen Audio for out of home TV, and integrated that together. We have then taken that data and put that into our sales estimate system so every time we generate a sales plan we are able to show an agency buyer how much additional out of home audience we anticipate delivering from the plan. Then on the backend, we work with MSA to deliver a post buy assessment and are able to show the client the actual amount of out of home delivery we delivered to them. The thought is to use the data actively to calculate true delivery. It is a big part of our upfront discussions.

Every media company is focused on the idea of unmeasured audience. We think that out of home TV, if you are in the news and sports space, is a material amount of unmeasured audience. That is why it is so important to us. 

Howard Shimmel talks to Charlene Weisler about his work at Turner in this 5:51 minute video:

Charlene Weisler interviews Turner's Howard Shimmel who talks about set top box data and segmentation analysis in this 6:55 minute video:

In this final 6:42 minute video, Howard Shimmel offers some insights into the future of the media landscape:


Staying Strategic at the Evolving Agency. Q&A with IMS CEO Nancy Mullahy

Nancy Mullahy, CEO of IMS, is on the cutting edge of today’s media transformation as agencies grapple with understanding the ever expanding consumer choices of platforms as well as trend the evolution of programmatic buying. Mullahy’s background includes research and her knowledge of and acumen in data lends well to this changeable media environment. Asked to describe her “average day” she talks about meeting with those who are exploring new ways of looking at data and its applications. This fascinating interview includes discussions of the top trends of today including cross platform programming, TV programmatic, uses of data and connected TV. She also looks forward and offers some predictions as to the media landscape in the next 3 to 5 years.

Subject                                                 Length (in minutes)
Background and IMS                                       (4:24)
Data                                                                    (7:10)
Cross Platform                                                  (6:20)
Programmatic                                                    (4:53)
Predictions                                                         (6:05)

Charlene Weisler interviews IMS CEO Nancy Mullahy who discusses her background and IMS in this 4:24 minute video:

Nancy Mullahy, CEO of IMS, talks to Charlene Weisler about big data uses in this 7:10 minute video:

CW: Do you think there will ever be a new standard metric that will enable us to measure across platforms?

NM: I have two thoughts on this question. One is that the industry will always want what I call “interim metrics”. Interim metrics are things that are less interesting such as impressions. My second thought is that we are moving towards is business performance where every business has its different set of metrics. It is something we really believe in at IMS. We believe in getting as close as absolutely possible to revenue and making sure that you have a healthy brand. And we really live for these things every single day. When you start to get close into revenue, as close as you can possibly get, it makes the idea of impressions or view-throughs or whatever metric it may be, slightly less interesting. I truly believe that as an industry, little by little, we are moving into a space of measured business results that is going to take us down the path towards really being a partner with clients. 

Charlene Weisler interviews Nancy Mullahy about her views on cross platform in this 6:20 minute video:

Nancy Mullahy, CEO of IMS, talks to Charlene Weisler about Programmatic buying and selling from an agency perspective in this 4:53 minute video:

CW: Nancy, what exactly is Programmatic?

NM: Despite what we have heard in the industry, Programmatic is not the opposite of Premium. Programmatic is just automated buying. What is exciting about it is that it is an automated level of buying that is really enhanced by data, especially audience data. That is really what Programmatic is.

Interestingly, when you really dig down deep and find out how many people are actually involved in understanding what Programmatic is in the marketplace today and what are all the opportunities, it is a surprisingly limited group of people. Many times, that skills set is centered around managed services. So currently, as an industry, we hand off a certain amount of our media allocation to a managed services programmatic partner, if you will, and it is their intention to do the best job possible against our objectives. But I think that alone definitely misses the point because we haven’t trained the people who are actually making that allocation to be any smarter about what the process is, what takes place. And that is a critical component of really advancing data and its application towards targeting going forward.

We are going to see more programmatic across more channels as we see media evolve in the next couple of years. I am shocked at how fast it has moved into the marketplace to date and to what degree it has been executed.  It’s not just here in the United States - it is also on a global basis. So it is exciting.

We have our own trading desk here at IMS and we did that intentionally because we wanted to be sure that everyone here who is actually involved on our team truly understands the intricacies and the opportunities within programmatic. And we are using programmatic not just for digital applications today.

Nancy Mullahy offers her insights into the future of media in this 6:05 minute video: 


Measuring All Forms of Advertising. Q&A with ITVX's Ray Pettit

Dr. Ray Pettit is the Chief Analytics Officer for ITVX at Rentrak which means that he is deeply immersed in the measurement of branded and in-program content. In this fascinating interview, Pettit talks about ITVX, biometrics in measurement, cross platform applications to ITVX, native advertising measurements and, because he began his career as a musician, Pettit discusses the importance of a liberal arts education in professional growth. He also offers some insights into how the media landscape will look in the next 3-5 years.

There are five videos in the interview:

Subject                                                 Length (in minutes)
Background                                                    (5:18)
ITVX Rentrak                                                  (8:44)
Segmentation and Biometrics                    (7:10)
Cross Platform, Native, ROI                         (5:32)
Scale, Standards, Predictions                      (5:03)

Charlene Weisler interviews ITVX's Dr. Ray Pettit who talks about his background in this 5:18 minute video:

Charlene Weisler interviews Ray Pettit who talks about Rentrak and ITVX in this 8:44 minute video:

Dr. Ray Pettit talks to Charlene Weisler about segmentation and biometrics in this7:10 minute video:

Charlene Weisler interviews Ray Pettit who talks about cross platform in this 5:32 minute video:

Charlene Weisler interviews ITVX's Dr. Ray Pettit who looks forward and offers his predictions in this 5:03 minute video: