CNN, for all of its troubles of late, has maintained a big bragging right over its competitors: its cumulative viewership, or “cume” as it is called in industry parlance, is usually much larger than its cable news competition.
The problem is that it is very, very difficult to monetize cume, and the currency of TV–Nielsen’s ratings system–doesn’t do a good job of counting out-of-home viewers.
AdWeek‘s Sam Thielman reports that CNN is trying a new effort to monetize those viewers through ‘CNN All-Screen,” which it is working on in partnership with Nielsen and Arbitron. According to Thielman, the theme of CNN’s advertiser pitch is “shiny and new”.:
“We’ve seen a lot more of these kinds of initiatives,” said Francois Lee, group client director at MediaVest. “There’s a lot more being done around addressable.”
Lee said he’s not opposed to the strategy on principle. “It depends on how the deal is structured,” he explained. “If they’re using the Arbitron people-meters for out of home, it’s conceivable that we would extend that as a currency.” But he’s also wary of false equivalencies. “In an airport, for example, you have no audio, just visual.”
If it works, it is safe to say that the entire cable news landscape, which relies heavily on out-of-home views, can get on board.