August 16, 2017

Top 10 Burning Issues in Digital: What’s the Common Thread?


Senior Vice President, Marketing & Insights

Today we released our latest report, Top 10 Burning Issues in Digital, to provide comScore’s perspective on the most pressing issues, topics and trends driving debate in the digital media industry. The report was inspired by a 2013 blog post by our CEO Gian Fulgoni entitled “The Top 10 Burning Issues in Digital,” based on an industry presentation he had previously given.

At the time, it was clear the issues he addressed struck a chord as the blog post rocketed up our leaderboard to become one of our most popular pieces of content ever published. Even four years later, it still often ranks among the more read pieces of content on our site every month.

What fascinated us in looking back at this content was the realization of just how different the issues today were versus just a few years ago. That’s how fast the digital media industry changes, where the most pressing concerns of yesteryear have either been solved, faded into the background, or simply been overtaken by more significant issues.

The 2017 piece reveals a very different set of digital media issues at the forefront of everyone’s minds:

  1. Bridging the Divide Between TV & Digital
  2. Advanced Audience Data
  3. Monetizing Mobile
  4. Measuring Unduplicated Reach
  5. Cross-Device Marketing
  6. Programmatic Pressure on CPMs
  7. Moving Beyond Viewability
  8. Filtering Big Botnets
  9. The Value of Attention
  10. Advertising Attribution
Top 10 Burning Issues

One of the challenges in developing this year’s report was whittling the list down to ten, and this could easily be a list of 15 or 20 issues depending on where you sit in the digital media ecosystem. Our goal was not to provide a laundry list of every issue out there, but to consolidate into a single document the most common issues we hear from clients and to discuss the opportunities presented through better measurement.

If there’s a single common thread through most of this year’s themes, it is the power of digital data to drive quality. The world today looks very different than even a few years ago because of the large datasets now underlying all of measurement. Data scale brings with it a host of new challenges and increasing complexity, but at the same time offers new ways of solving previously intractable challenges. Large datasets allow us to leverage data science methods to eliminate waste, improve methodological approaches, slice and dice data more finely, and combine disparate datasets to drive new value.

Digital data is helping to eliminate the effects of bot traffic and non-viewable ads so only quality impressions are measured. It serves as the methodological basis for measuring unduplicated reach, which helps monetize mobile and gives digital a bigger audience footprint. This, combined with a viewability standard, brings digital ads into alignment with TV. Digital data is moving the conversation beyond age/gender demographics alone to advanced audience reporting, giving media companies new ways to value their inventory and better meet the needs of advertisers. And digital data provides the measurement granularity so we can properly attribute value to the ads that are working.

In a fragmented digital media ecosystem, digital data is the resource that will advance our industry and is at the heart of these ten burning issues. Some of these issues are more easily addressed than others, but our collective progress can put everyone in a better position to succeed.