NBCUniversal Names iSpot.tv as Partner in New Approach to Measurement

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The media company sent requests to dozens of vendors for proposals to help them build a new measurement framework

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The effort comes as the television advertising business is undergoing major changes, with viewership increasingly shifting from traditional TV to streaming platforms. Traditional media companies, including NBCUniversal, are looking to improve the tools they provide marketers to analyze their media purchases in a shifting environment.

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The confidence of TV rating company Nielsen, which has dominated its field for decades, has also been shaken. The Media Ratings Council, the media industry’s measurement watchdog, withdrew its accreditation for Nielsen’s national and local TV ratings last year.

“Never before has the entire television industry been open to a range of measurement options using just a single currency,” Kelly Abkarian, executive vice president of measurement and impact at NBCUniversal, said in an email. NBCU says iSpot will provide metrics that buyers and sellers will be able to use as an alternative currency.

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NBCUniversal has worked with iSpot since 2014, and in 2018 announced a project with iSpot to help brands show certain business results—such as increased web visits or sales—that result from their ads.

The company has expanded that relationship by naming iSpot as its first “Certified Measurement Partner” as part of its request for proposals, or RFP, process. Ms Abkarian said the designation was created similar to those in the digital world, where players like Alphabet Inc. Of

Google and Meta Platform Inc. Of

Facebook shares data with approved partners.

NBCUniversal said it plans to add more such partners. This could include Nielsen, to which both companies said it also responded to the RFP. Nielsen is testing a cross-platform media measurement system, which it said will launch later this year and said it plans to transition fully to its cross-media metrics in 2024.

NBCUniversal, which ran an internal test with iSpot during last year’s Summer Olympics, will bring ad buyers to new tests during coverage of the Super Bowl and Winter Olympics in Beijing in February.

Ms Ebkarian said iSpot’s technology allows the company to update the Olympic dashboard that helps advertisers see their reach linear and digital by noon the next day.

Next-day reporting “gives us a similar opportunity with digital to be able to create next-day insights for advertisers,” she said in an interview. “We think [putting] Linear on the same playing field is very important, especially when you think about… an event like the Olympics where you get 17 days to decide against billions of dollars. ,

The tests will inform the company’s next steps as the television industry unfolds in the coming TV season as annual spring talks with buyers on commercials.

Publicis Group‘s

Publicis Media will be the first media holding company to test the measurement.

“We’ve seen the landscape change so quickly and so quickly, and COVID has accelerated all of those changes,” said John Muszynski, chairman of Publicis Media Exchange in the US, “We now have to really see the impact.” Measurement change has to be accelerated. of this change in consumer behavior.”

The coming weeks will be crucial, said Stacey Stewart, US chief marketplace officer at UM, a media agency owned by the Interpublic Group of Cos. TV advertisers who have traditionally purchased inventory using Nielsen ratings are considering whether they should buy more using results beyond rating points, she said.

“I think the next month or so is really going to tell as we get ready for the next advance,” Ms Stewart said. “What are the different currencies of measurement that we’re all going to test and look forward to? What we’re working on right now is figuring out how we deal with the testing and learning that goes into that.” .

Write Megan Graham at [email protected]

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