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Shift Your TV Buying Strategy from CPM to CPW

  • - Shringar Pangal
  • 2 min read

For long-time TV advertisers and programmers, the industry’s history can be summed up simply: age and gender panels are used to rate a program’s viewership. These ratings then serve as the proxy for planning, buying, and measuring the effectiveness of the U.S.’s $70B+ TV advertising industry. Impressions are bought and sold on a CPM basis. 

What if I told you that some advertisers and networks are flipping the script? They’re adding more data, linking viewership to business outcomes, and making TV buys based on CPW.

“Wait! What is CPW? Yet another acronym” you ask? In the words of television leaders like A+E Network’s Ethan Heftman, the new TV ad currency is “cost per whatever.” 

Although ratings serve as a trusted way to help advertisers measure one of TV advertising’s greatest strengths—its massive reach—data-savvy media professionals are implementing additional measurement solutions that link target audiences’ viewing behavior with the actions those consumers are taking in the real world. 

That means the “whatever” in your CPW could equate to activities like website traffic, app downloads, physical in-store visits, online leads, and of course, attributable sales. No surprise, this strategy benefits advertisers who want (or need) to prove that their TV dollars aren’t just “ad spend” but “ad investment.”

What about programmers and media companies? They’re just as excited. For years, they have known that TV works. Now they get to back up that tribal marketing belief with real data and extract the most value possible from their media. It’s a win on both sides of the table.

As Heftman from A+E also explains, “it is not enough for television, any longer, to put a proxy that doesn’t make sense to an investor. It’s not enough to talk about data points that only make sense to marketers. Marketers have to be able to speak the language of business and finance. That is what performance is all about.”

So who do I go to for CPW?

Data Plus Math, a LiveRamp company, is one of the driving forces behind the “W” in CPW, enabling the TV industry to focus on real-world results at scale in a privacy-conscious manner. Every day we work with leading brands and programmers to connect multiple data sources that answer the burning question, “how is my TV ad spend working?”

If you are intrigued, check out A Guide to Advanced TV Measurement Strategy

You’ll get the inside scoop on the TV measurement solutions that advertisers and media companies alike are using, from closed-loop reporting to multi-channel attribution. Whether you are just getting started or have already launched a number of advanced TV campaigns, our guide will help you understand the next best step to measure TV advertising better.