Nielsen to Launch Measurement of Individual Ads

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NEW YORK—Nielsen has announced that it will enhance its National television measurement in ways that will provide more granular data and allow audience estimates to be based on individual ads rather than commercial minutes. 

The enhancement to Nielsen Individual Commercial Metrics will help pave the way for true comparability across the digital and linear platforms in the run-up to its launch of the Nielsen ONE cross-platform measurement solution, Nielsen said. 

Nielsen also noted that while the industry currently transacts on Nielsen's "C3" metric, based on the average of all commercial minutes in a program, Nielsen's new Individual Commercial Metrics reporting capability will enable the measurement of linear television at a "subminute" level and audience estimates at a level of granularity that is more comparable to digital. Providing this comparability paves the way for Nielsen ONE to provide true deduplication across platforms, Nielsen said. 

With more precise commercial measurement, agencies, advertisers and brands will have the unprecedented ability to directly compare, plan and optimize ad campaign performance over both digital platforms and linear TV, Nielsen added.  

To do this, Nielsen has expanded its relationship with Extreme Reach to create an efficient way to encode the vast majority of all national linear TV commercials with Nielsen's watermarks that will launch in the first half of 2022. 

"We're very pleased to collaborate with Nielsen on this important step in improving workflow efficiency for marketing teams, which has been at the core of our mission at Extreme Reach [ER] for over a decade,” said Gaurav Agarwal, chief operating officer at Extreme Reach. “As the source of creative assets for the majority of brands, including over 90 of the Ad Age 100, ER is uniquely positioned to enable measurement of those assets at greater scale. Nielsen's ongoing efforts to embrace the morphing worlds of linear and digital TV now provide a means for marketers and their agencies to understand and value digital and linear TV commercials in a directly comparable way, which is a distinct improvement for the industry," 

"Giving the industry true, trusted metrics that offer harmonization across platforms is the bedrock to revolutionizing the cross-media buying and selling process and a foundational step toward Nielsen ONE," said Kim Gilberti, senior vice president of product management, Nielsen. "By transforming our TV measurement and moving to Individual Commercial Metrics, both media buyers and sellers will be able to maximize the value of their inventory as well as capitalize and drive return on investment of their advertising spend across the rapidly converging traditional and digital landscapes."

As a first step in this plan, in early 2022 Nielsen will enhance its process for collecting and crediting watermarks, enabling the detection of watermarks more frequently within a given minute, allowing for credit of shorter duration events, such as individual ads. This change will give sellers the ability to utilize Nielsen's reporting to properly value their commercial inventory—from pricing to placement, Nielsen said. 

For the first time, Nielsen's television measurement will also leverage Gracenote Content Signatures, which will allow for granular crediting for instances where there is no watermark present. This will provide Nielsen with the capability to credit shorter durations in a more robust way across several of Nielsen's metering technologies, including Nielsen's GTAM, Nano and Portable People Meter (PPM) wearable devices.

By streamlining its crediting systems and migrating them to a cloud-based infrastructure, Nielsen will also be able to deliver to clients two streams of data: currency measurement used today and in parallel, Nielsen Individual Commercial Metrics that will be fundamental for Nielsen ONE.

George Winslow

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.