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Cross-Screen Initiatives
As you learned in previous chapters, advertisers and media agencies want metrics to measure how well a campaign
performed. While publishers and advertisers join in launching cross-screen campaigns across channels in a timely
matter through ad scheduling, in the growing landscape of connected screens, it's proving more and more challenging
to roll up all of these analytics into a single unified campaign analysis for strategists and producers to digest. Companies
like Zeebox ( ) offer truly interactive second-screen experiences, and as more people maneuver
their digital lives across devices, the need for a cross-platform measurement tool is an absolute must. Whether it is by
use through a shared network or an amalgamated login screen, the need to measure across screen and device is real,
and solutions are emerging. I'll review some of the technologies that are powering this shift in the next few sections.
One technology that's doing cross-screen effectively is Automatic Content Recognition (ACR). ACR reads audio
information from one source and displays relevant information on the receiving end. Companies like Shazam
( ) and Soundhound ( ) do this in the mobile market where users can
listen to a song and figure out what song is playing. The technology samples the audio from the source and can detect
what file it is through its metadata, whether it be a music track, television show, or commercial. This technology can
be paired to the second screen for showing relevant messaging to a user, who could be passively watching television
while surfing the Web on their tablet device. ACR is a technology that is currently being rolled into the original
equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of set top boxes and phones so that a third-party install won't be needed for a
user—if this were to happen, it would surely disrupt the business models of the companies mentioned. Users face a
similar barrier with QR codes when they need to install an app to read the QR code before participating. A few
of these companies working with ACR include Audiblemagic ( ) , Gracenote
( ), TvPlus ( ) , and Ensequnce ( ) .
Device Fingerprinting
Another cross-screen initiative to allow advertisers to track users across device is the concept of device fingerprinting.
Device fingerprinting is a technology that detects information about a user's device or machine, and the information
can be saved for later analysis. Think about this in regard to online tracking—if you're viewing an ad on your iPad, that
device identifier can be saved, and the next time you view another ad, the ad server would know who you are based on
the previous ads you've seen. From that information, more data can be collected about your location, behavior, and
interests, offering a really nice audience segment for marketers to target campaigns toward.
In the early days of mobile development, applications and ad creatives by way of an SDK could access what is
known as a unique device identifier (UDID), which is a device-specific string of characters identifying a particular device
in the world. It's like a device's Social Security number. This is important to know because with this intelligence, web
content can pair this information with the stored data in a database to clearly match a user and offer more targeted
messaging. This is a huge advantage in tracking users across screens and devices, but some mobile device manufacturers
such as Apple put an end to doing this because they didn't want to breach users' privacy. While the technique through
HTML5 is to use localStorage or some other client-side storage technique along with a remote database, there is an
initiative called OpenUDID ( ) that allows for an open way to track users via an
open device identifier that isn't tied to a user's personal information. The OpenUDID is currently backed by 17+ mobile
ad companies such as Appsfire and Greystripe ( ).
as of ios 6, apple has launched an “advertiser id” aimed to replace the Udid approach. You can find more
information at
ios-6-2012-10 .
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