NEWS27 September 2010

Nielsen unveils TV-like online campaign ratings

Data analytics North America

US— Nielsen has developed ‘online campaign ratings’ – a measure of an online advert’s audience that the company claims is comparable to its own TV ratings.

Nielsen says its will now be able to provide reach, frequency and Gross Rating Point (GRP) measures for online advertising campaigns of “nearly any size, running nearly anywhere on the web”.

Ratings are produced through a combination of traditional Nielsen TV and online panel data with aggregated, anonymous demographic information from participating online data contributors.

The system works using pixel-tracking, so that when a particular display or video advertisement is shown in a browser this is reported to Nielsen and to other approved data contributors – including large web publishers. These contributors then provide aggregate-level reports containing reach and frequency information in anonymous age and gender buckets.

Nielsen says it will then use proprietary technology to combine these reports with data from its TV and online panels, resulting in a single report showing reach, frequency and GRPs for the advertisement. Meanwhile, a second process runs in parallel to match the IP address of the pixel to one of the 210 Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMAs).

Steve Hasker (pictured), the company’s president of media products, said: “Marketers and media companies alike will now have a simpler way to measure the combined reach of TV, the web and even mobile advertising. Reach alone doesn’t tell the whole story, however, and Nielsen intends to combine the ratings with cross-platform advertising effectiveness metrics to provide a complete view.”

Online campaign ratings will launch first in the US, with other key markets to follow. Test with companies such as Procter & Gamble and Verizon Wireless, Facebook and Starcom MediaVest will begin in the fourth quarter and the system is expected to be commercially available in 2011.

Nielsen says it will seek accreditation for the system from the Media Rating Council.