TV Data Summit: Watching Audience Measurement Evolve

Hulu, Nielsen execs discuss their plans to enhance ads' return on investment at Future's NYC Television Week
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NEW YORK--Television audience measurement is evolving beyond the Nielsen panel and age-and-gender breakdowns of who’s watching what, partly by Nielsen’s own advances, partly by what other measurement firms have contributed and partly by what newer delivery mechanisms like over-the-top providers have learned.

An update on that evolution came during a panel session at the TV Data Summit, part of NYC Television Week, on Wednesday.

Julie DeTraglia, VP and head of ad sales research at Hulu, said Hulu’s insights into its subscribers’ viewing has become “first-party” data that Hulu uses in ad sales and also offers up for sale to marketers trying to reach those consumers. Hulu also works with Nielsen, Comscore and other measurement sources to get more information to advertisers about the effectiveness of their ads in terms of reaching sales goals.

[Read: Complete Coverage of NYC TV Week]

“We need to be able to measure those outcomes in a much more real-time way, and that’s really what we’re working towards right now and it will be there very soon,” DeTraglia said.

Hulu does a lot of TV ad buying — perhaps you have seen the new “we’re about to ruin TV for you” ads — and DeTraglia said it’s overly complex as a media buyer to “tie it all together and really understand what the success is.”

James McNamara, senior VP of client strategy at Nielsen, said Nielsen is working toward a “fusion” approach blending Nielsen’s home-audience panels with data from outside sources such as cable and satellite set-top devices, smart TV sets and Hulu viewers.

[Read: Complete Coverage of the TV Data Summit]

“Nielsen’s no long only the age and gender” provider, he said, as his work with clients includes finding “the richest, most premium data sets to help them drive the business."

The Nielsen Catalina Solutions business, tapping into millions of brand loyalty cards, and a new relationship with J.D. Power tying auto sales back to advertising are part of that effort.

“It’s those types of audiences that are driving the bottom line for clients,” McNamara said.

Representatives of measurement vendors VideoAmp, TVision Insights and iSpot.TValso were on the panel.

NYC TV Week continues Thursday with Advanced Advertising and Next TV Summit, both at the Westin New York at Times Square.