Data & Tech

What’s going on in the world of measurement in 2023

Nielsen strikes a deal with Netflix as third-party alternatives look to gain ground.
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Francis Scialabba

· 3 min read

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There’s no way around it: conversations around media measurement aren’t exactly, well, sexy. But in a year where marketing budgets stand to face scrutiny in an economic downturn, the media industry’s long-elusive white whale—aka its ability to effectively measure ad views and performance across video platforms—finds itself at a turning point.

Back up: In 2021, Nielsen was stripped of its accreditation for its TV service by the Media Ratings Council, an org that audits media measurement companies. As we wrote last year, that decision “marked an inflection point that prompted broadcasters to envision, for a brief moment, a world without Nielsen at its center.” At last year’s upfronts, major networks went into negotiations armed with measurement alternatives.

In the last few weeks, there’s been a flurry of measurement news and announcements from companies across the ecosystem. Some of the biggest news in measurement land includes:

  • Netflix expanded its relationship with Nielsen to measure streaming and linear TV audiences in the US, Mexico, and Poland.
  • Samba TV, a Nielsen competitor, is offloading its media sales business and will instead focus solely on measurement.
  • Nielsen’s TV ad ratings replacement, Nielsen One, officially debuted its ad measurement tool, which promises to tally ad viewership “across screens.”
  • Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision, and Warner Bros. Discovery formed a joint industry committee with OpenAP and the Video Advertising Bureau trade group aimed at establishing a third-party measurement certification process that could stand to boost Nielsen alternatives.
  • Warner Bros. Discovery struck a deal with measurement firm VideoAmp to measure audiences, which it plans to use in addition to Nielsen figures.

The developments, which come as pre-upfront conversations ramp up, seem to underscore just how essential it is for the media advertising ecosystem to have multiple reputable options to measure the reach and effectiveness of advertisements on streaming services as usage continues to climb and as companies like Netflix and Disney+ build out ad offerings.

Rewind: At CES, many meetings with advertisers and agencies inevitably went back to how investment will be measured this year. “That conversation that we’re having is, how do you protect your full-funnel marketing investment [and] make it accountable to your actual business in 2023?” Tim Lardner, a client strategy partner at the agency PMG, recently told Marketing Brew.

Both platforms and networks alike have shown they are “willing to invest in resources for measurement differently, because they know that partners are fighting that fight” for ad budgets, Lardner said.—KS

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