Video Agnostic? Not Quite

By David Krupp, CEO, Kinetic North America

It's everywhere in the press. It was endlessly mentioned at every conference I attended last year, and the subject of a number of white papers and books: Video Agnosticism. In this new age, all screen views - whether they be mobile, online, broadcast, etc. - are comparable in value. It's a groundbreaking concept, admirable really, equalizing all video content regardless of formats or even contextual use. It demolishes the old notion that traditional broadcast must lead and other elements must follow, allowing for organic and authentic stories to be told across devices and channels to reach audiences wherever they may view - a strong and novel concept and as yet, still unrealized and missing nearly a billion opportunistic monthly views.

Adults spend 70% of their time away from home. Out-of-home media in general and digital place-based in particular connects directly with viewers and is, at times, the support necessary to turn viewers into engaged consumers. While contracts broadcast ratings may be in decline, cord cutting is a real and imminent threat - fraudulent views are the new normal.

The age of video agnosticism is blind to the OOH sector. A screen specific ideology misses the digital place-based marketplace; the screens in cafes, elevators, gyms, physician offices, airplanes, airports, restaurants, gas stations, malls, and the myriad locations across the U.S. are not included in the mix. Why? Because they are deemed unequal to digital, mobile, and broadcast. They are screens but "lesser" so because they don't have the same specifications or content. Of course, they are rated by Nielsen, daypart-able, with national, regional and local footprints. So while it looks like broadcast and feels like broadcast, it is not considered broadcast? One might argue that consumers do not opt-into viewership, but I would argue that being in an elevator without a captivate screen is wholly uncomfortable - or that the post-roll video shown after a Words with Friends move is not something players request.

The Digital Out-of-Home Infront, last year marked the first place-based video upfront reaching key audiences on the move. The intention was simply to show the value enhancement to ratings, delivery, and efficiency derived from including DPB in the mix. The result? More reach, more TRPs without adding additional expense.

It's time that video agnostic planning includes the full-spectrum of video offerings available in the marketplace. I encourage agencies and clients to expand their definition of video to include digital place-based video.

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