TV’s Cry for Help


Welcome to the TV industry’s latest bit of magic prestidigitalization. It’s a new twist on the old sleight-of-measurement trick. Here’s how it works. You buy TV the old-fashioned way because, well, that’s how you buy TV. The ratings suck. You want to pay less because you’re getting less. TV says, “You’re not getting less. Look at our newly crafted, data-driven metrics. We’re delivering premium audiences across omni-channel touchpoints and generating better return-on-ad-spends than ever!” If you can brush the buzzwords off your shoulder, you respond, “Yeah, but Nielsen says the ratings are down.” And TV triumphantly concludes, “Nielsen sucks! Here’s how we prestidigitally measure your success.”

Artisanal solutions don’t scale

As it turns out, TV is right. They do have newly crafted, data-driven metrics, and they can deliver premium audiences across omni-channel touchpoints, and Nielsen does suck. (Sorry Nielsen, I love you guys, I really do. I’ll defend you in a moment.)

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