Why Walled Gardens Are Among the ‘Largest Obstacles’ to Finding Consistent Online Measurement

An answer is more crucial than ever during the pandemic

Adweek's streaming editor Kelsey Sutton, in conversation at the Convergent TV Summit. Adweek
Headshot of Sara Jerde

The walled gardens present a major roadblock to consistent, de-duplicated measurement, a group of panelists said Wednesday in a wide-ranging conversation at Adweek’s Convergent TV Summit.

The time to get a clear, consistent answer from these companies is more crucial than ever as consumers continue to cut the cord as the Covid-19 pandemic rages on and they consume content across platforms.

“I think we can all agree that one of the largest obstacles to this unified source of measurement are the walled gardens that are out there,” said Nora Wolfe, senior vice president, group partner, UM Worldwide, adding, “Digitally, with some of the largest players not allowing data to flow outside of the walls, we’re still looking at them in silos.”

This presents issues, especially when consumers watch content across devices.

As more players come online, as well, from new streaming services to smart TV developers, there are more opportunities for those providers to collect data, and measure behavior, in their own ways.

“Everyone is becoming a data owner,” said Jane Clarke, chief executive officer and managing director, Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement. “Getting the sharing agreements and the methods for doing that in privacy-safe ways is really leading to that fragmentation that creates more and more challenges.”

Watch the full conversation with Adweek’s streaming editor Kelsey Sutton here:

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.