Mind the Gap – lifting the veil on cross-media measurement.

by Martin Radford, Director, Media
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Our latest report reveals linear TV is set to see around a 21% fall in overall adult commercial impacts for advertisers by 2025. While brands can build incremental reach using online video, there is significant room to drive quality.

This video-focused cross media measurement report, Mind the Gap: A closer look at video advertising reach in the age of increasing media fragmentation, draws upon audience measurement data from AudienceProject and BARB, and looks at insights across 15 campaigns run by five large UK advertisers towards the end of 2019.

Our study demonstrates that younger linear TV audience declines have hit faster than forecasted in Ebiquity’s earlier groundbreaking report TV at the Tipping Point. Predictions for older audiences – which accounts for the vast majority of TV viewing – were broadly accurate. Younger viewers in particular are replacing linear TV with online video, broadcaster and subscription video-on-demand (VOD) services.


Key findings include:   

• Total linear TV commercial impacts were down by 4.4% in 2019 against predictions of a fall of 3.6%.

• The increasing shrinkage of linear TV audiences will compound to around a 21% fall in overall adult commercial impacts by 2025.

• For 18-24s, even with a predicted slowdown in the rate of decline, more than half (56%) of today’s audience will have disappeared by 2025.

• For the younger 16-24s, 25-34s, and 35-44s, advertising served on YouTube and Facebook was found broadly to be able to match the reach delivered by TV.

• Brands targeting younger consumers using YouTube stand the most to gain in terms of incremental reach.

• Once quality of engagement is factored in, online video may not be enough to close the coverage gap.

• When analysis shifts from a pure impression level to 50% or 100% completed reach, both platforms deliver less incremental reach, with Facebook adding little.


Christian Polman, Chief Strategy Officer at Ebiquity, said:

Although TV remains the primary driver of ROI, the change in media consumption habits is no secret and is a phenomenon that brands cannot safely ignore. What our new study does is to confirm that the rate of change in viewing behaviour is affecting brands. The ability to reach mass audiences at scale is critical for efficient and effective brand building. Advertisers need to take several actions today in order to close their own coverage gap and ensure success in the age of media fragmentation.”

On a practical level, our report draws on the implications for brands to recommend a four-point action plan:

  1. Understand what your coverage gap is and what the implications are for your business
  2. Take a more granular approach to measurement
  3. Make the right creative for the right channel or platform
  4. Use structured testing to evaluate and optimise the channels you use to fill the coverage gap


Ebiquity Director of Media Martin Radford presented the key findings from the report at the 2020 Mediatel conference, The Future of Brands, on 5 February 2020.


Press coverage:

Read CityAM coverage of the report

Read WARC coverage of the report

Read Advanced Television coverage of the report

Read Rapid TV News coverage of the report

Read Mediatel coverage of the report and the presentation Martin Radford and Christian Polman gave at Future of Brands, February 5th

Read IBC365 coverage of the report

Read C21 coverage of the report