What is Opportunity To See?
Opportunity to see (OTS) is a core metric that is used both in the online world and in the offline, real-world, to measure the number of people who have had an opportunity to see an advertisement. This can be anything from a banner ad on a website, to a break advertisement on TV to a digital ad shown on a DOOH display. It is used to evaluate ad campaigns and network performance. Across all advertising channels the measurement metric exists, however it is not consistently used across the board and the criteria for what constitutes as an OTS varies from platform to platform. Below are a couple of examples of how OTS is counted across various channels.
How to calculate OTS:
Online Video Ads
For OTS to be measured and counted, the ad only has to have 50% of the ad displayed for a minimum of two seconds. One appearance of a video ad on one screen is counted as having reached one person.
For OTS to be measured and counted an ad must be shown on TV for a minimum of thirty seconds. The number of Opportunities to see can estimated by looking at TV ratings, however new methods such as collecting Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) data from broadband based smart TVs are emerging to provide more precise viewer data. This ensures that everything watched on the screen from linear to streamed television can be measured regardless of the device used to watch it.
Digital OOH Ads
As a one-to-many medium measuring OTS is more complex. For OTS to be measured and counted an ad will play on a digital signage display on a spot in a loop and anyone who is counted as being at the location and within a certain proximity to the display when the ad is played will each be counted as OTS. The audience measurement tools used for counting OTS such as wifi tracking or anonymous video analytics can change depending on which technologies the media owner decides to adopt.
Is Opportunity To See the same as an ad impression?
In digital OOH advertising the metric OTS has the same meaning as an impression. They both reflect the number of people who may have been exposed to an ad and are used to provide insight into network foot traffic and prove network value to media buyers when purchasing OOH ad space programmatically. Digital ad space is bought on a cost per thousand impression (CPM) basis, using OTS as the core measurement method to collect this data. It is essential that media owners provide this analytics data in a transparent and verifiable manner in order to build trust with advertisers and media buyers.
Digital Out Of Home (DOOH) Advertising and OTS
DOOH advertising as a medium is evolving and gaining momentum. The rise of interest in DOOH advertising is due to a number of factors such as the demise of the online cookie, new smart technologies making audience measurement more accessible and revised guidelines on the best practices for carrying out audience measurement which aim to create a unified approach to impression data collection. Guidelines were recently published by the OAAA that recommend that OTS be adopted as the core metric for measuring audience reach. Opportunity to see has already been a long standing measurement metric amongst other major advertising platforms therefore to bring digital out of home advertising in alignment with the other platforms and to streamline cross-platform media buying it was necessary to make the shift.
What are the benefits of measuring OTS in DOOH advertising
There are a multitude of benefits for both media owners and media buyers when it comes to measuring audience OTS. The main benefits are that it enables buyers to compare audience consumption across various digital signage inventories and across other media platforms and use this data to decide on the best locations for them to spend their marketing budgets. By collecting OTS data it also facilitates the automated purchasing of ad space as (CPM) cost per thousand impressions is the currency in which ad space is bought. Media owners who collect this data can increase network revenue by selling their ad space to both private buyers or to real-time bidders on the programmatic marketplace.
While noting the benefits of OTS for Digital OOH advertising measurement it is important to not get OTS confused with the metric likelihood to see (LTS) which provides a more accurate depiction of those who have actually viewed the content rather than simply having had the opportunity to have seen it. The people that are counted in the LTS measurement will be a smaller pool than those counted in the OTS analytics data as they are people who are passing by or dwelling within a closer proximity to the screen.
Figure 1. A diagram highlighting the difference between OTS and LTS Measurement
Sightcorp’s audience analysis technology for measuring OTS
Sightcorp uses a dual approach to measuring audience reach. Using body detection technology to collect OTS data and face detection technology to count the number of actual viewers. The data is collected in real-time and is fully anonymous making it a future proof solution given that individual privacy and data collection are being more heavily regulated. Using DeepSight, media buyers can see if predicted impressions and delivered impressions match up, through the delivery of proof of play reports which can attribute viewers to specific content, with demographic and attention insights. This granular data is essential for measuring campaign effectiveness and also for validation in spending marketing budgets on OOH ad space.