Ritu Midha: Deliberating CPT with a twist!

11 Jul,2013

By Ritu Midha


While researching CPT and CPRP, I stumbled upon an interesting article in the September 9 , 2009 issue of Brand Equity. The article indicates that the cause of concern if any in implementing CPT-based pricing for FCT would be raised by the channels, while the advertisers and agencies would rather prefer it. Well, things sure have changed in the last four years with television owners in favour of CPT as agencies and advertisers are, as per reports, favouring CPRP.


In internet advertising parlance, Cost Per Thousand is about number of impressions an ad placement generates.  However, as online advertising is coming of age, CPT or CPM is increasingly giving way to performance-based parameters – most basic of them being CPC or cost per click.


CPT is a key factor in print measurement too with readership numbers being the main measurement force here.


And now the push by media owners for CPT instead of CPRP. To an untrained brain like mine, none of these are really performance metrics for the ad, they are plain vanilla viewership metrics. Though it might be an uphill task to convert per cent ages to actual numbers or vice-versa, and hence the CPRP and CPT debate.


Having said that, if CPT does not take into account time spent and stickiness, how does one know whether the ad has really been viewed or not. It, then, comes close to CPT in print medium.


But what if CPT really takes into account the viewership profile – which from whatever I have read on the subject is going to happen – mapping the numbers to the target audience for a brand. If a brand wanting to target 18- to 25-year-old males can really identify that its ad was actually viewed by 20,000 men that age – and that’s how CPT is worked out! Utopia!


That is how it works in the digital world when there is a call for action attached to the ad! Specific demographics and, in some cases, psychographics too!


In the case of television, this is impossible as it is not a personal medium. But can the digitised universe now make it possible to track the actual number of households watching a show instead of it just being a sample survey? Even if it is only for 25% of the universe to begin with? Of course, factors like who is watching can be captured on a small sample size – like TAM does now – and be extrapolated.


It might sound quixotic to many, but imagine if the same could be done, the amount of wastage that can be avoided is just not funny! And the planners too would have to put in a lot more effort just to figure which programme they should go for… as it would no longer be a small sample size-based reasonable error quotient, but nearly the entire universe.


And if that is a possibility, we can then look at CPT being the common thread when measuring the consumer’s media consumption behaviour on a single measurement platform.


Ritu Midha is a senior journalist and web strategist based in Mumbai. She is also Consulting Editor and Editor – Special Projects, MxMIndia.


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