Media Companies Form Group to Develop New TV Measurement Standards

(Image credit: Joint Industry Committee)

NEW YORK—Some of the world’s largest media companies have formed a consortium to design a new method of measuring media consumption in an attempt to streamline the process of measuring premium video content as well as provide an alternative to Nielsen.

Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision, and Warner Bros. Discovery and the VAB are working with advanced advertising company OpenAP to form a new Joint Industry Committee on Premium Video Currency (JIC) “to enable multiple currencies with the primary focus of creating a measurement certification process to establish the suitability of emerging cross-platform measurement solutions in advance of the 2024 upfront.”

The JIC said the process to develop measurement certification standards is currently underway and will be formalized and officially announced March 1st. It will reveal its preliminary findings April 25. It said it is also reaching out to other qualified premium video programmers to join the committee and elicit active participation from advertising agencies and qualified trade bodies to advance the multi-currency proposal.

AMong the JIC’s tasks are:

  • Establish and maintain a measurement certification process in partnership with the VAB that will be housed inside of the JIC for third-party measurement vendors conducting cross-platform premium video currency services that will be operational by the start of the 2024 season, starting in the Fall of 2023.
  • Create a programmer data set to enable third-party measurement vendors by harmonizing streaming viewership data brought together by OpenAP infrastructure.
  • Engage a third-party audit firm to verify the accuracy of the streaming viewership dataset in order to maintain measurement independence and neutrality.
  • Collaborate with the VAB and ANA to accelerate progress made to measurement calibration by both parties, as well as with other key Industry Trade Bodies including the 4A's, IAB, ARF and more.

"The sustainability of the premium video advertising model depends on an ecosystem for measurement that is transparent, independent, inclusive, and accurately reflects the way all people consume premium video content today – across multiple screens, connections, and devices. By coming together to establish this JIC, we can collaborate and accelerate the efforts to implement a new multi-currency future that fosters more competition, inclusivity and innovation and will ultimately better serve advertisers, agencies and consumers," said Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal; Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount; Wade Davis, CEO of TelevisaUnivision; and David Zaslav, President and CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery in a joint statement.

Nielsen, in a statement to NextTV, said: "We appreciate working with all the industry bodies vested in the best way to measure the changing audience and providing fidelity and trust between advertisers, agencies, publishers and platforms. We continue to believe it is critical to have measurement that is transparent, consistent, auditable and independent."

Ashwin Navin, Co-Founder and CEO of TV measurement company Samba TV also commented on the news: “It has long been clear that the U.S. model of a single measurement monopoly would not be able to keep pace with the rapid state of change in viewing behavior we are experiencing today and that it would ultimately fail to provide the kind of diversity and accuracy in measurement that media buyers are demanding.

"This news is a critical step towards a multi-currency world where the industry is empowered to adopt the data and technology it needs to develop advanced and transparent methodologies for measurement versus the legacy black box tools we have been confined to for decades. This is a great moment for publishers who will have full transparency into the value of their programming, for advertisers who will be empowered to go beyond legacy models from two generations ago that no longer make sense in today’s diverse audience and programming world, and for consumers who will now have far more advanced tools measuring their attention providing better insights to guide content investments.  

"One of the biggest challenges of the legacy approach to measurement today is the one-size-fits-all approach, which may have made sense a half century ago but frankly makes no sense in today's incredibly diverse and fragmented media landscape. A program that attracts a highly-diverse or hard to reach audience for example, but ultimately captures a smaller overall share of attention of a mainstream program, could be cancelled under the existing legacy model. By embracing new and innovative methods that go well beyond the simple age and gender metrics that have guided the industry for decades, and empower advertisers and programmers to truly understand who their audiences are and their real value, we will enable creators to continue to think outside the box in the development of incredibly diverse and entertaining content.” 

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.