Nielsen, which has long been criticized for not adequately reporting the full scope of media consumption, announced a noteworthy step today with the addition of mobile and OTT viewing, including YouTube, to its cross-platform advertising measurement tools.
The addition of digital viewing will enable Nielsen to deliver clients “deep insights into de-duplicated audiences viewing ads across smartphones, tablets, computers and television,” the company said. The goal is to enable campaigns across TV and digital platforms to be accurately counted.
The announcement, which came at the start of CES, the annual tech extravaganza in Las Vegas, comes as Nielsen negotiates a new contract with CBS amid considerable public objection from the broadcast network. After the companies’ previous agreement expired December 31, CBS has threatened to ditch Nielsen in favor of rival comScore or other alternatives unless Nielsen moderates its financial demands.
The public squabble mirrors conversations in the TV business throughout this decade, as traditional networks complain that with the $75 billion TV advertising marketplace under full-scale assault from digital players, significant viewing is going unrecognized and, therefore, unmonetized.
Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings product will now include OTT audiences from the company’s Digital Ad Ratings service. That will let networks compare the performance of ads delivered through TV and digital using comparable metrics based on real people and real data, Nielsen said.
“Providing currency caliber cross-platform audience measurement is core to our mission, and we’re excited to enhance our Total Ad Ratings product to do just that,” said Amanda Tarpey, SVP of Product Leadership, Digital at Nielsen. “Whether consumers are streaming from their TV or their smartphones, Nielsen will be able to reflect their ad viewership and incrementality as part of its audience reporting—a major step that will benefit the industry from publishers and platforms to advertisers and agencies.”