System Update – 7/28/19

Around 5:50AM on 7/26 we had a capture server malfunction which impacted 8 networks.   The issue was resolved on 7/27 around 2:50pm.  We were unable to capture detections during this timeframe on the following networks:

American Heroes
BBC America
Big 10 Network
CMT Music
MLB Network
Nick Toons

We apologize for this inconvenience.  We are exploring ways to reduce the impact should a similar situation arise in the future.

System Update – 7/17/19

There is an issue affecting AdSphere this morning and we understand users are receiving timeout error messages.  We are currently investigating the issue and hope to have it resolved soon.  Updates will follow.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Update – Some runaway queries were discovered and terminated.  We are still investigating the root cause but service has been restored.

System Update – 6/25/19

This TV and Grit are back online as of this past Sunday 6/23.

A recent programming bug caused airings in local DPi breaks not to be properly flagged.  These airings are incorrectly showing as national in Adsphere.  We anticipate that this issue will be fully remedied by tomorrow, 6/26, when all impacted airings will properly reflect whether they are national or local.  We apologize for the inconvenience!  This unfortunately impacted our weekly spend index rankings which will also be updated by tomorrow


System Update – 6/22/19

One of our over-the-air feeds for “This TV” has been offline since yesterday and we’re also experiencing issues with one of the over-the-air signals for “Grit ” which appears to be going offline on occasion.   The broadcast digital networks can be impacted by weather or technical issues more so than the commercial grade feeds we monitor via commercial grade satellite for all of the Cable Networks.   We’ll advise as soon as we have an ETA on full signal restoration for both This TV and Grit.

System Update – 6/3/19

We apologize for the recent issues with some of the broadcast digital networks.  As of today, all of the broadcast digital networks are back online.  Weather issues had some broadcast towers impacted so in some cases we had to switch to different market network affiliates to regain service.   We thank you for your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.

System Update – 5/23/19

Airings have been delayed today due to a bad query which has slowed down the ETL.  It’s an unfortunate case of human error and we apologize for it.  We’re looking into a solution that may help to prevent future similar occurrences.  The ETL should be caught up in the next few hours and then all airings for 5/22 & 5/23 will be up to date in the system.

CW Network came back online on 5/20.  Now we’re having an issue with Comet and Charge.  Monitoring the broadcast diginets over the air comes with its fair share of complications.  In this case, a broadcast tower was damaged due to weather which took one of our two dual broadcast feeds offline.

We will update when Comet and Charge are back online and apologize for the inconvenience.


Advanced TV Leftovers = New Opportunity for DRTV Industry

A new trend has emerged where cable networks are collaborating with MVPD and vMVPD partners to turn their national ad inventory into something far more appealing to brand advertisers.  Armed with new capabilities, cable networks are already starting to offer brand advertisers the ability to target their television commercial to their ideal audience.  This creates an opportunity for direct response advertisers to have their commercials delivered, during the same ad breaks, to all the leftover households.

Before we get into how these new “advanced advertising” break types work, let’s look at how national cable break types have worked historically.

On the left side of the diagram below, a cable network sends its signal via satellite to two different MVPDs.  If you aren’t familiar with the term, and haven’t clicked one of the links above, MVPD is short for Multiple Video Program Distributor.  MVPD is a catch-all phrase to describe all of the television distribution companies that sell access to network cable programming via cable, satellite, fiber, or via internet (the latter referred to as an vMVPD where “v” is short for “virtual”).   In the past, we’ve only had to understand and deal with two break types.  We had the national ad break, in which commercials were seen by viewers nationwide, and we had the local ad break.  Most cable networks cut to a local ad break 2 minutes out of every hour.  As shown below, a cable network has sold a commercial to Expedia to run during a local ad break.  Buying this type of ad break is how direct response advertisers have purchased leftovers at a discount for many years.

To help explain, local ad breaks are preceded by a Digital Program Insertion (DPI) signal. Most MVPDs have ad-insertion equipment that listens for the DPI signal. As soon as the DPI signal is detected, the ad insertion equipment begins inserting commercials sold by the MVPD to local advertisers. In the diagram below, one of the two MVPDs is shown inserting a Flex Tape commercial covering up the Expedia commercial. In most markets, including urban markets, the MVPDs aggressively sell local advertising covering up most, if not all, of the ads like Expedia running on the network at the same time.  However, in smaller rural markets, the MVPD may not sell local advertising as demonstrated by the second MVPD below which doesn’t insert an ad allowing the Expedia ad to be seen by viewers in their market.  These are the leftovers that direct response advertisers expect to receive when buying local break inventory from the cable networks today.

With new advanced television advertising models, the networks use a different type of DPI signal to let certain MVPDs, who have a contract with the network,  know that it’s time for them to deliver the advanced advertising commercial to its intended audience.  At the same time, the network may run a direct response commercial on its network feed to be viewed by any households not otherwise targeted by the advanced advertising campaign.  One of the network groups stated that a smaller universe of MVPDs are currently involved in their advanced advertising programs.  To other MVPDs, this new type of ad break looks just like any other national ad break which they are not allowed to cover up.  Accordingly, the audience composition for this new type of ad break is likely quite different in comparison to the traditional local break.

DRMetrix is the first television research company to monitor national cable DPI signals in order to recognize and segment between the two traditional ad break types.  Our company is currently collaborating with cable networks in an attempt to detect the alternative DPI signals that are starting to be used in the marketplace to signal these new advanced advertising breaks.  For now, DRMetrix flags all commercials running outside of normal local breaks as “national”.

Some networks have taken to inserting direct response ads in local breaks and their new advanced advertising breaks billing both types under the traditional “local” billing code.  Some agencies have started to notice the discrepancy as DRMetrix continues to report the advanced advertising breaks as “national”.  DRMetrix has had to explain to various agencies what is happening and quite often the agencies are unaware of the new break type.  So, we thought this article would help to set the record straight!

Please provide us with your feedback and questions on our blog!  We’d love to hear from you.

System Update – 5/16/19

Our ETL (Extract, transform, Load) routine got stuck yesterday at some odd hour and wasn’t discovered until this morning.  We’re researching why the system didn’t send a warning earlier but one of our nice clients pointed out that no airings for 5/16 were being shown in AdSphere.  Rest assured, no airings have been lost and the ETL is just catching up over the next few hours and everything should return to normal.

There was an issue with the Network Log View that has been fixed.

We’ve lost one of our two CW network broadcast feeds so this network is currently offline.  We’re working to acquire another feed so we can put the CW back online.

We apologize for these issues and are working to resolve.

New AdSphere Build – 5-13-2019

We’re happy to bring you a new build of AdSphere with several new features.

Share Reports & Filters

Now you can share AdSphere reports and filters with your business colleagues.  Click below image for video tutorial

Search by TFN/800 or URL

Have you ever wanted to search for creatives/brand by toll free number or URL?  Now you can!  Click below image for video tutorial

UPDATE 6/4/19 – Instead of requiring 4 characters, the URL search now works with a minimum of 3 characters.   New columns for TFN and URL have been added at summary report level.  Video below has been updated. 

Download Thumbnail Views

Now when viewing a thumbnail image, you can download a .jpg file on the fly!


Global Search “View All” creative reports now include airing counts.


Configure Alerts page now shows full category / sub-category description for each alert.

Enhancement to Video and Thumbnail descriptions.

When you play a video from Network Log View, the date/time will be shown in broadcast time and we’ve added the brand and creative name to the text description.  Similarly, when you output an airing detail report in broadcast day, the video links will show broadcast date/time.  In all other instances, the video descriptions will indicate calendar date/time.  We hope these new descriptions will help to reduce confusion!



In addition to the above features, this new build addresses various bug fixes and areas of performance optimization.

Please do let us know if you discover any new bugs with this build so we can quickly squash them!!