Crackle Plus renews measurement partnership with iSpot, plus programmatic add-on

We could be in the “baby boom” of ad-supported streaming services.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Chicken Soup for the Soul is off the books and now makes a living primarily from making food, pet food, and…streaming videos?

It also means that Chicken Soup is part of the quest for the holy grail of multi-device CTV measurement solutions.

Crackle Plus, formerly Crackle, has been working with iSpot on metering services since Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment acquired the streamer from Sony in 2019. On Wednesday, Crackle announced a three-year extension to that partnership.

“ISpot effectively helps us measure the audience we reach and quantify the additional reach and effectiveness for [our] brand advertisers,” said Darren Olive, executive vice president of national advertising sales and strategy at Crackle Plus. “We hope that our relationship with iSpot [make us] ready for that “next step” as the media market digs into alternative currencies. »

By “next step,” Olive means increasing the focus on measurement with actionable strategies to increase growth and efficiency. On the one hand, Crackle Plus argues more for its incremental reach relative to advertisers’ overall media mix. (In other words, the AVOD app says its audience has a higher rate of net new viewers, rather than retargeted individuals in different walled gardens.)

Crackle Plus will also increase its rate of processed impressions through programmatic direct deals.

walnut soup

One of the stated common goals of alternative measurement solutions is to accurately identify audiences across all channels so viewers aren’t bombarded with the same ads over and over again.

According to Olive, this means approaching incremental reach with more nuance than streaming linear metrics, and vice versa.

Two years ago, incremental reach was considered entirely through the lens of linear TV versus streaming, he said. Advertisers wanted their Crackle Plus buys to reach different viewers than their linear buys – narrowly targeting younger audiences who had cut the cable cord.

But there isn’t necessarily a lot of overlap between Crackle Plus streamers and audiences on other AVOD platforms or broadcast TV, he said.

Crackle Plus consists of seven AVOD and FAST channels in total, including Popcornflix, which is a library of mostly action-oriented content aimed at young male demos, and the FAST channel Chicken Soup for the Soul with “long and uplifting in a brand-safe environment,” Olive said.

The company may tout unique and niche audiences, but it had to get creative to demonstrate the incremental reach of advertisers beyond its own distribution footprint.

Crackle Plus’ priority now is to increase the reach of advertisers’ other media channels, Olive said. And the results are promising, he added, after running the first 75 campaigns served with this new metric.

“We found that we could effectively increase incremental reach across [advertisers’] other media mixes without having to run so many ads over and over again to keep going [pushing] that hit the curve up,” Olive said. “If we can deliver this range curve on an upward trajectory [while] always the cap on the number of exhibitions; that’s what brands really want. »

Cross-platform competition for audiences isn’t much of a concern due to Crackle Plus’ niche audience. But when it comes to competing for ad dollars, this incremental reach approach shows brands that “their money is working harder for them,” Olive added. “[And] I have [both] a direct sales team and a programmatic sales team who talk to brands. »

Programmatic Games

Crackle Plus also has its eyes set on programmatic.

Until now, iSpot measurement and transactions were only supported through direct insertion orders. But with the renewed partnership, Crackle Plus is also enabling iSpot measurement in its programmatic campaigns.

Incremental measurement and reach offerings “now extend to many of our direct brand campaigns, [which] are now using programmatic to deliver their ads in real time,” Olive said. “[Diving] deeper into incrementality and efficiency with this evolution of our relationship with iSpot is [something] we have not been able to do in the past.

Compared to other DSP, SSP, and private market (PMP) channels, programmatic direct deals work best for Crackle Plus because they allow for close, consultative account management without reducing automation.

It also gives brands and agencies the transparency and control they seek in their media buys.

“We are able to work campaign by campaign to say [brands] where their ads aired and when, until airing [or title] level,” Olive said. “Programmatic activation allows the flexibility to switch on the fly and move money around as advertisers collectively need to across all of their different media buys that they are able to programmatically deliver.”

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