NBCUniversal, iSpot.tv, Publicis to Conduct Measurement Pilot During Super Bowl & Olympics

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NEW YORK—NBCUniversal has announced a multi-year landmark deal with iSpot.tv that will make the real-time measurement company one of its preferred partners for quantifying and unifying cross-screen media consumption, reach and impressions across its One Platform. 

The new deal is part of a major effort by NBCUniversal to bring advertisers more accurate, timely and diverse insights that capture the way audiences consume content and use this broad array of performance metrics to modernize the way video is valued, NBCU said. 

The agreement comes on the heels of an extensive measurement evaluation process and industry consultation that will lay a new foundation for how NBCUniversal transacts in the 2022-2023 upfront cycle, the company said. 

As part of that effort to find better measurement systems, iSpot.tv has been named NBCU's first cross-platform Video Certified Measurement Partner, the companies said, with more expected to be announced in the future. 

“This is not a shift away from one panel-based system to another, but a definitive step toward embracing the metrics brands already use to evaluate media companies,” said Kelly Abcarian, executive vice president, measurement and impact, NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships. “We have an obligation to deliver consumers a great experience, and an obligation to our customers and shareholders to utilize measurement systems that adequately capture the reach, attention, and outcomes we deliver. Our learnings from this partnership will help transform our measurement solutions as we head into the next Upfront season and bring advertisers more data that accurately reflects our audiences, their consumption habits and campaign impact.” 

As part of the agreement, iSpot.tv will support NBCUniversal’s audience verification initiatives for both ads and program ratings and conduct tests of an alternative currency in the first quarter of 2022. 

These currency tests will include a massive pilot during two of the most anticipated events of the year – the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and the Super Bowl LVI – which will be conducted in collaboration with a range of clients across several verticals. 

Publicis Media will be the first media holding company to test this new measurement across NBCUniversal’s entire One Platform, and utilize these tools to support multiple brands, the companies said. 

iSpot.tv, which provides second-by-second measurement for ads and verified impressions for programming and advertising, will deliver metrics that can be used as an alternative currency across buyers and sellers. 

Using iSpot.tv, brands who advertise with NBCU will gain access to real-time airing data for linear, streaming and time-shifted viewing, and receive comprehensive reports on a next-day basis that include metrics such as verified ad impressions, reach and frequency, linear and streaming overlap and incrementality. Measurement will be provided at the household level as well as at the person level for age/gender demos and/or for customized audience segments. 

Select NBCU advertisers will also have access to impact measurement including granular attention and interruption rates, business-outcome reporting and creative performance that includes pre-testing and brand-lift analysis, NBCU reported. 

“Measurement must reflect the all screen, one video world consumers have created,” said John Muszynski, chairman, Publicis Media Exchange (PMX) US. “Through this test-and-learn across NBCUniversal’s One Platform, PMX will be able to provide its portfolio of brands a more accurate, holistic approach to measurement that prioritizes performance and impact. The results of this partnership will serve as the blueprint for the marketplace to transact using improved measurement during the 2022-2023 Upfront Cycle.” 

NBCU and iSpot.tv have a long history of collaboration. NBCU was among the first networks to subscribe to verified impressions data when iSpot.tv became the first company to commercialize smart TV data in a measurement application in 2014. And the two partnered again in 2018 to bring business-outcome TV measurement to market. 

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.