NEWS22 July 2020

Nielsen updates digital measurement

Media News North America

US – Nielsen is overhauling its digital measurement methodology across its various ratings services.

graphic of multiple media screens

The new methodology is part of Nielsen’s plan to position itself as a platform company and adapt to developments including the industry-wide decreasing reliance on cookie-based measurement.

According to Nielsen, the changes will allow media owners to compare performance across media channels. The updated approach will also improve the granularity of reporting on connected devices and reduce the reliance on third-parties, the company said.

Karthik Rao, chief operating officer at Nielsen, said: “With a privacy-centric lens, we are creating a flexible platform that we can adapt to new technology, data and regulatory changes.”

Mainak Mazumdar, the company’s chief data and research officer, said the move would provide cross-media measurement for the industry, adding: “We are creating the foundation that will allow us to continue to instil confidence, deliver comparability and enable coverage in a cookieless future.”

Nielsen plans to roll out the methodology in phases, starting in early 2021.

Separately, the 4A’s (the American Association of Advertising Agencies) has criticised Nielsen’s decision to combine data on in-home and out-of-home TV viewership into one data stream.

Nielsen is planning to integrate out-of-home viewing into the national TV currency measurement, starting in September.

Marla Kaplowitz, president and chief executive of the 4A’s, said: “Agency buyers and marketers have the right to negotiate for the inventory pricing and related metrics including data access, and the use of a single data stream eliminates that choice. The inability to access the disparate viewing streams negatively impacts which metrics inform different viewing experiences, and dilute the transparent measurement solutions that the industry should strive for when making financial decisions.”

The 4As has asked Nielsen to propose an alternative approach to reporting in-home and out-of-home viewing metrics that avoids combining audience figures. The organisation also encouraged Nielsen to delay the launch of any combined data stream until it has been audited by the Media Ratings Council.