Arbitron in PPM deal to audit out-of-home video


As it moves to expand its Portable People Meter (PPM) panels into measuring video as well as radio, Arbitron announced a deal to deliver a “proof-of-play advertising audit” for BroadSign International. BroadSign is a worldwide provider of software for managing digital out-of-home video networks.

Under the deal, Arbitron will use its PPM technology to conduct a series of annual audits capturing when encoded audio and video advertising content is displayed on networked digital screens in 50 random BroadSign-run locations across the United States. The data will be compared with the BroadSign commercial schedule logs. This verification system equips digital out-of-home networks with base metrics to substantiate return-on-investment to advertisers.

“For screen audience numbers to be relevant to advertisers, you have to prove first that their ads played as scheduled and the screens were on. By auditing our proof-of-play reporting system with the help of Arbitron, we are giving our client networks an added level of transparency and assurance for justifying ad rate cards and for their negotiations with advertisers,” said Brian Dusho, President and Chief Strategy Officer of BroadSign International.

Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) is a highly targeted medium. DOOH networks have versatile control over which message will be played where, and whether the screens are on and displaying the right content. The ability to control and target the content creates a logistical challenge for networks’ reporting applications, Arbitron said.

According to Arbitron, the PPM technology-based proof-of-play audit is the first such service in digital out-of-home industry. It replaces manual monitoring of screens with advanced technology, which simplifies the task of verifying advertising compliance and makes the verification more scalable.

“One of the barriers to large-scale media buys in digital out-of-home space has been the lack of standardized metrics. The Portable People Meter technology will help establish the first tier of accountability to digital out-of-home advertisers, laying the foundation for any other measurement in this new medium. The PPM technology is well-suited to capture proof-of-play as the technology captures distinct content and the time of broadcast,” said Alton Adams, Executive Vice President, Arbitron.

Arbitron said its PPM technology-based audit methodology was successfully tested in October 2006 during a pilot program at BroadSign-run Digital Promo Network, which operates screens in convenience stores across the United States.