TMR Q&A: Wayne Sieve, Thuuz, on Disrupting the Ratings Game

These next few weeks will be all about ratings as the accepted form of measurement.

Will the NBA numbers start to bounce back? What will the AFC and NFC Championship numbers look like? What about the Super Bowl? Will anyone watch the XFL? Etc., etc. The measurement of eyeballs still drives buzz (and sales) for many.

However, measurement is changing and it is all in not just the top numbers, but in the deeper analytics dives of how, where, why and for how long consumers are watching on whatever device they choose.

One company that is turning the trick on measurement, and even using that data to customize highlights is Palo Alto, Calif.-based Thuuz Sports. Thuuz has even gone one step further using data to create an “excitement index” of when, where and how fans are engaged with the most exciting sports events of the minute, which then creates a new sellable and sharable output for media companies.

How is it working and why? We asked Wayne Sieve, EVP & Global Head, Business Development, at Thuuz Sports to give us a breakdown.

Team Marketing Report: Will we ever get to the point where “ratings” as we know them today will be more inclusive of data like the work you do with measuring excitement?

Wayne Sieve, EVP & Global Head, Business DevelopmentThuuz

Wayne Sieve: Yes, absolutely. The beauty of the digital age is it’s bringing about new tools and capabilities that were always of interest, but simply weren’t previously available. Having a more holistic evaluation of ratings which includes both qualitative and quantitative data provides a more valuable lens into the value of an event. This data has enormous utility to marketers, programmers, investors and creators of content.

TMR: How can brands better use the data provided?

WS: Brands can know more about the qualitative aspect of an event instead of just the quantitative. Imagine being able to target your brand to those moments that are exciting and memorable or being able to identify which events you should invest in or avoid. In addition, user’s engagement can be enhanced by telling them when they should tune in to a game or if there is something better for them to consider.

TMR: As we move to custom highlights, what’s the best way for a brand to be able to maximize exposure?

WS: Brands can maximize exposure and impact by hyper-targeting their messaging within custom highlights. Our SmartReels highlight reels platform can create ten million different videos for ten million different individuals. Within these automated videos, the opportunity exists for brands to target directly to the specific profile of the consumer.

Theoretically, brands could create ten million different messages for each of these individuals and, in so doing, maximize conversion, recall, or whatever KPIs they’re looking to optimize.

TMR: Is traditional measurement more of a North American issue these days? Has the rest of the world gotten smarter faster?

WS: I haven’t seen any global region outpace any other region regarding optimizing the exploitation of excitement data. It’s more of a corporate cultural influence rather than a geographic influence that has determined the use of measurement technologies.

TMR: You have a great success story and case study from the 2018 World Cup. When do we think the technology will be more mainstream across other events?

WS: What we were able to showcase for the World Cup was a truly disruptive technology that enabled fans to engage in an entirely new way, but one that was also one of a kind. We have scaled this out in our new SmartReels platform so content owners can affordably roll this out across their entire content portfolios.

From what we see, 2020 will be the year when we see mass adoption of this technology and users will have more control of their content experiences at their fingertips.

TMR: Whats the best learning you have seen for the industry regarding use of measurable data for viewership in the past year?

WS: This past year, we targeted most of our resources on developing the self-service SmartReels platform and on-boarding new customers on this platform across the globe. As these customers scale throughout 2020, we’ll have more insights and learnings to share.

TMR: Excitement measurement was really arbitrary until the last few years, have you been able to get bigger buy in from media companies recently, and if so, what’s the best selling point?

WS: Yes. All investors look to lessen their risk and it’s no different for content programmers as understanding the performance of content from a more holistic viewpoint enables better decisions on how to invest in content. This means media companies can have better ways to engage users through real-time marketing, create better packaging and new products for fans, and develop new paths for monetizing their investments.

TMR: If you look at measurement in say a year, how will it be different than it is today?

WS: Measurement will be more predictive and enable content programmers to be more informed about performance expectations.  It will also develop more use cases for how content is acquired, marketed and monetized.

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