Home CTV Roundup How This Kid-Focused Media Company Balances Privacy And Ad Measurement

How This Kid-Focused Media Company Balances Privacy And Ad Measurement


Advertisers can’t use personal data to target or measure ads in kid-focused content, even if it’s really the parents they’re trying to reach.

There are laws in place and in the works to prevent marketers from collecting personal data if a child under 13 is likely in front of the screen. Meanwhile, several US states are passing child-specific privacy laws, and the FTC is working to strengthen the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

Still, marketers need some sense of whether their campaigns are having any impact.

Moonbug Entertainment, a content studio whose portfolio includes kid favorites such as CoComelon and Blippi, is one of many media companies trying to figure out how to bring some form of ad measurement to children’s content. With a measurement strategy in place, it can prove it’s reaching streaming audiences that advertisers are missing on traditional linear.

Moonbug’s measurement strategy

Moonbug’s MO is to acquire titles that are already popular on YouTube and distribute them on CTV platforms such as Roku, Vizio and Fire TV.

Although this content is made for kids, the target audience for ads is parents co-viewing with their children – particularly millennial parents who are more likely to have young children compared to Gen X and baby boomers.

But because Moonbug can’t collect or use personal data for advertising, it hasn’t been able to validate that it’s helping advertisers reach an incremental audience, Emma Witkowski, global head of brand strategy and client success, tells me.

That changed earlier this year when Mooonbug partnered with TV and video measurement company iSpot.

Together, they ran a pilot program at the beginning of the year to see how many incremental impressions Moonbug really serves. Moonbug declined to name the advertisers that participated in the program, but it said the pilot test included four brands in the consumer-packaged goods, retail, gaming and travel verticals.

During the pilot, iSpot measured streaming campaigns against Moonbug inventory targeted at the household level and compared the results with the same campaign’s reach and frequency on linear channels. Armed with that information, Moonbug can demonstrate its reach among cord-cutter households that would not have otherwise seen an ad on linear TV.


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The purpose of the pilot was to put real numbers behind Moonbug’s claim that it can help clients reach households they’re actively missing on linear, Witkowski said.

Based on those results, Moonbug can now say 87% of the impressions it delivers are new households that linear campaigns can’t reach, which makes sense considering its young audience. Still, such a high incremental reach is indicative of Moonbug’s scale.

A study by Attest Market Research (sponsored by Moonbug) found that 71% of Moonbug’s audience is made up of households that either cut the cord or never had one. And according to Moonbug, it reaches 22 million households per month on CTV.

Moonbug’s next move

Although child-focused privacy restrictions mean Moonbug can’t get much more specific with the measurement it provides, it does plan to expand beyond reach and frequency with iSpot to also include basic age and gender demos about the parents its advertisers are trying to reach.

Ideally, Moonbug would be able to tell an advertiser what percentage of impressions were served to a specific demo, such as women between the ages of 25 and 44, Witkowski said.

But for now, that plan is still just a plan. One step at a time.

It’s compelling enough for Moonbug to “showcase to advertisers that we have an influential audience they should be reaching,” Witkowski said, referring to the fact that parents of young children spend a lot of money because, well, they have to. (It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise and support a child.)

Moonbug hopes the promise of incremental reach, backed by data and a privacy-aware approach, will convince advertisers to shift more of their budgets from linear into streaming – and specifically to Moonbug.

It also hopes to attract more non-endemic advertisers from verticals such as consumer-packaged goods, retail and family insurance.

To keep funding ad-supported family and made-for-kids content, Witkowski said, “we need more advertisers to come over to us [from linear].”

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