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December 4, 2019

Impression-Based Selling for Local TV: The Future is Now

Impression-Based Selling is Here

There has been a lot of talk recently about a coming revolution in the way local broadcast television stations sell advertising.  Demand from advertisers looking for a streamlined way to include brand-safe, premium video in their multiplatform campaigns is driving a shift away from selling local TV using Gross Rating Points (GRPs) and toward impression-based selling.

It’s a thought that can instill fear in the hearts of station execs who have been selling the same way for 20 years or more, but it doesn’t have to be a scary proposition. WideOrbit is embracing the future of impression-based ad sales and our products already support transacting based on impressions. We’re ready for the convergence of digital and TV advertising and we’re here to help make the transition from GRPs to impressions as simple and as pain-free as possible.

Seamless, Simple, Shift

Making that transition is critical for your bottom line. Local TV is still extremely effective at driving results for advertisers but as those advertisers increase their digital ad spend, the available budget for linear TV shrinks. Broadcasters are making up some of that revenue by expanding to provide digital content and selling their own digital advertising, but they’re missing an important piece of the puzzle by continuing to sell linear TV based on GRPs. 

“Planners already plan in impressions, so we’re excited to make local media and local television a lot easier to buy.” – Eric Mathewson, Founder & CEO, WideOrbit

A shift to impression-based selling means you’ll be speaking the same language as your buyers. They’re already thinking in terms of impressions due to the incredible growth of digital over the last two decades, so it’s a metric they already understand. By making it easier for advertisers to buy impressions across all media platforms, you’ll be helping your clients fold local TV into their overall advertising strategy, rather than developing separate digital and TV budgets. But for that to happen, a common currency for both digital and linear transactions is essential, and that common currency is impressions.

Compare with Consistency

Comparing GRPs and impressions, both when evaluating costs and results, is like comparing apples to oranges. Impression-based selling for TV will allow your clients to compare apples to apples. Making impressions the common currency will also allow you to clearly demonstrate the value you offer to clients by matching the level of granularity offered by digital. And that includes being able to offer multi-platform campaigns including OTT, online, mobile, and linear TV advertising.

Audience reach is already available in both GRPs and impressions from Nielsen and Comscore, and several major media organizations (including Nexstar, NBCUniversal, Gray, and Hearst) are already committed. Local TV and radio are the last holdouts. It’s not a huge change for an account executive to issue a proposal in impressions rather than cost per point. And with WideOrbit, that impression-based proposal will carry through the entire workflow, from proposal to order entry, scheduling, invoice generation, and receipt of payment.

Get in touch to learn more about how WideOrbit can help ease the transition to impression-based selling.

Check out what Eric Mathewson, WideOrbit founder and CEO, recently had to say about the future of impression-based selling for Local TV.


For press inquiries, contact media@wideorbit.com.

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