Nielsen Plans Major TV Ratings Revamp By 2024 To Reflect Streaming’s Impact

Nielsen is planning to replace its current TV ratings system with a new one by 2024 that further integrates digital and streaming activity.

The company aims to start rolling out the new setup, called Nielsen ONE, by the end of 2022 and then make it the dominant currency by fall 2024. In a press release, Nielsen said the goal is to offer stakeholders in ad-supported media “a single, deduplicated view of their audiences across all platforms and mediums.”

In order to make the shift official, though, Nielsen will need to get buy-in from programmers, tech companies and advertisers. In recent years, efforts to update the ratings systems have occasionally met with resistance.

At stake are the $60 billion spent by marketers on traditional television ads each year. Tens of billions of additional advertising flows through digital and streaming platforms. Ad-supported streaming outlets have boomed in popularity, with NBCUniversal’s launch of Peacock this year highlighting the strategy as linear viewing continues to ebb.

“With the rapidly evolving landscape and on-going shifts in consumer behavior, it is no longer acceptable to take a siloed approach to our clients’ video plans,” Doug Ray, CEO of media agency Dentsu Media, said in the official announcement. “Cross-media measurement is paramount to maximize reach across platforms with the right frequency. We are encouraged by Nielsen’s commitment to a single measurement solution and unified framework that will drive comparability across TV and digital video so that our clients can better allocate dollars and maximize ROI.”

Karthik Rao, COO of Nielsen, said Nielsen ONE will deliver “a single, comparable metric for TV and digital that will provide video consumption across all platforms, services and devices. For media buyers and sellers, this means better monetizing their assets and maximizing their investments.” He added that the company has made “significant enhancements over the last year to turbocharge the tech and data science required to make an industry wide cross-media solution a reality.”

Nielsen’s national TV currency has expanded to include addressable measurement and will encompass more smart-TV manufacturers and digital video platforms in 2021. Starting in the fourth quarter of 2022, Nielsen will release parallel cross-media ratings that will deliver metrics at subminute intervals for individual ads and content. The company said it expects this measurement will ultimately become the foundation of the cross-media buying and selling process.

Investors have greeted the news warmly, sending Nielsen shares up 2% to $17.58, their highest level since February.

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