NBCUniversal took shots at digital media and, only a little more subtly, at Nielsen in an uprfront presentation to promote all of its cable and digital properites in addition to the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks.
“The average American spends seven times as many hours watching television as they do on Facebook and 15 times more hours on television than they do watching YouTube,” Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships chief Linda Yaccarino told advertisers at the Radio City Music Hall gathering.
Although she acknowledges that there’s fragmentation, it makes television “that much more important.” NBCU also has alliances with Vox Media and Buzzfeed to help it bust “through the walls dividing linear and digital.”
She talked up NBCU’s on-demand offerings, a big priority for parent company Comcast, as well as TV Everywhere streaming opportunities.
Put together, “who needs C3 [ratings based on three-day viewing] when you have ATP: our Audience Targeting Platform” that provides advertisers with data from multiple sources as part of the ad sales process.
That’s where the dig at Nielsen came in. The ratings provider is just beginning to fold in data about viewing on digital devices — a sore point with traditional networks who have seen conventional TV ratings decline.
Although Yaccarino says that NBCU isn’t a measurement company “I’m happy to do their job for them. Because we just can’t wait any longer. We cannot wait for the industry to catch up to consumer behavior, the way our audiences consume our content. We cannot wait, and neither can all of you.”
(In response to similar criticisms, Nielsen has said that its ratings follow the instructions provided by people in the industry who buy them. It has the capability to offer additional metrics, including viewing results for up to 35 days after a show airs.)
She also talked up NBCU efforts to blend paid messages with entertainment. For example, the company is using Universal’s upcoming The Secret Life Of Pets and Seth Meyers to help promote Chrysler Pacifica minivans.
“Television is not about ones and zeros,” Yaccarino says. “It’s about ooohs and ahhhs….We reach our fans, your consumers right here [pointing to her heart] where it counts the most. Only NBCUniversal brings together the art and the science.”
NBCU chief Steve Burke kicked off the proceedings explaining the decision to blend the company’s broadcast and cable presentations.
“We manage the company as one company,” he says. “Hopefully this will come through during our two hours today.”
He also vowed to continue to invest in content. “We’ve actually spent over $40 billion during the last five years to secure great programming for years to come — which is more than we spent for all of NBCUniversal.”
Burke made a passing reference to DreamWorks Animation, which Comcast recently agreed to buy. It will “bring great characters, a wonderful library, and new animated production capability inside our company.”
Back to TV, the NBCU chief says that NBC wins the vast majority of what he calls “big nights” — when someone gets more than a 10 household rating and more than a 5 rating in the key demos. “Think about what that means if you’re an advertiser trying to change people’s perception about a brand, or a new movie, or a new automobile.”