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Kevin KrimJanuary 26, 20234 min read

Full Stream Ahead

This week Disney announced a premiere streaming measurement partnership with EDO. We’re excited to expand our longstanding partnership across Disney’s streaming footprint — starting with Hulu and extending to Disney+ and ESPN+ — setting the stage for an industry embrace of outcome measurement across streaming and traditional TV. But that’s not the ONLY reason I’m excited.

You see, this has been a long time coming. 

When Edward, Daniel, and I first discussed EDO’s potential almost 8 years ago, we saw a vision of the future, which we’ve been building towards all these years. To build cutting-edge technology ourselves so we could go beyond simple reach and frequency. 

Don’t get me wrong, all of these metrics have a role to play. But what businesses really needed were investment-grade signals of what’s working with their TV ads. In an increasingly measurable digital world, the CMO was increasingly accountable to their CFO and the Board. Reach wasn’t enough. Outcomes were what mattered.

And we knew TV was converging. While Linear TV was undeniably still a driver of performance, streaming platforms were gaining popularity. Cords were being cut, and the biggest players in entertainment — Disney, NBCU, Paramount, and Fox were responding to streaming pioneers like Netflix and Amazon. 

For an addressable TV future, we knew the industry needed a different approach.

Nobody wants a faster horse.

Henry Ford’s bold idea of a car for every household was groundbreaking, even ridiculous to some, at the time. But the ambition of automotive technology pushed our society leaps and bounds beyond what anyone could have expected. Today we've gone far beyond just faster horses and into electric cars that (mostly) drive themselves – we should expect more from TV measurement too.

The revolution will be streaming. 

Last fall, on the eve of Amazon’s first airing of Thursday Night Football, many wondered if traditional TV Americans would STREAM their favorite sports. With our real-time engagement data blowing past benchmarks, we immediately knew that Amazon had a hit on its hands. That night, many households showed up — following the familiar, yet unworn steps of downloading TV apps, logging in, and streaming live. The results were beyond expectations as households embraced live sports streaming on their TVs. And guess what? We were able to report on the other real winners

The convenience of streaming had officially crossed the mainstream rubicon, as streaming became an even greater part of our new normal. Soon after, as more major streamers began announcing ad-supported tiers (and analysts were clamoring for more measurement), many wondered, “are we just building a faster horse?” 

Because the value of creating an engaged audience and meeting them where they are cannot be understated. For Netflix, this strategy contributed to millions of new subscribers last quarter that could now discover recent hits like ‘Glass Onion’ or ‘Wednesday’. For Disney, this strategy means more people will discover new Disney+ shows like ‘Willow’ and ‘National Treasure’ alongside hits like ‘Kindred’ and ‘How I Met Your Father’ on Hulu. And brand advertising will play a critical role in funding the creativity that entertains and informs people – our ultimate mission at EDO. 

Seismic shifts are happening. 

What excites us the most about the future are the moves that are not only built on the foundations of what has worked - but those with an eye towards the horizon. YouTube’s announcement that they will now be the home of NFL SUNDAY TICKET means they have the benefit of learning from the successes of traditional TV plus a full season of TNF on Amazon Prime Video. And in March, Netflix will stream live Chris Rock’s latest comedy special ‘Selective Outrage’ — a highly anticipated event setting the stage for big streamers to take live streaming beyond sports. 

Many of those very streamers are making moves to the Upfronts. And while the Upfronts represent a shift for networks, in a world of economic uncertainty we also predict continued brand investment shifts towards streaming. 

Modern marketers - across brands, agencies, and networks - understand what’s at stake and that the status quo is no longer good enough. We’re proud to partner with those ready to figure out the Convergent TV road ahead — helping them reach their goals, prove their successes, and show us all that even bolder moves are right around the corner.

The future is not just inevitable. It's here.

We’ve just crossed another important milestone in the streaming journey — one that has been long in the making. The hard work of years past is validated with EDO’s investment-grade outcomes measurement being embraced by streaming leaders like Disney and many more to follow. 

We’ve been building EDO for the next generation of modern marketers - like you. With our growing roster of proud partners, we move together confidently, ready for the enormous potential of the journey ahead.

As our friend Edward often says “That's a signal you can bank on.”