The TV networks haven’t been particularly fond of Nielsen in recent months, but their digital rivals seem pretty impressed.
The media-measurement giant has entered into a pact with streaming portal Roku that calls for Nielsen to track viewership across traditional and connected TV watching, desktop usage and mobile screens. Advertisers who use Roku can get data on the reach of their commercials among Roku users that will rely on so-called “deduplicated” audiences, or people who aren’t seeing the same content on different viewing platforms.
“Marketers are increasingly investing in CTV to follow consumers. However, brands want consistent measurement across screens,” said Kim Gilberti, senior vice president of product management at Nielsen, in a prepared statement. “Marketers can now better evaluate CTV inventory’s unique reach and frequency in conjunction with their entire Roku buy in a comparable and comprehensive manner, and advertisers can reduce waste and help ensure that relevant ads are delivered to the right audiences across devices.”
The new Roku pact — Nielsen and Roku have worked together since 2016 — comes just a few weeks after Nielsen and Amazon’s Prime Video struck a deal to measure the audiences for “Thursday Night Football,” over which Amazon has rights without having to share with a broadcast network for the first time.
TV networks have long expressed ambivalence about Nielsen’s work — what student loves the teacher grading their homework? — but their tone in past years has evolved into one of frustration. The networks, some of Nielsen’s top clients, have encouraged advertisers to consider new audience measures provided by upstarts and rivals such as ComScore, iSpot and VideoAmp. NBCUniversal, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery are among the traditional media companies that have offered new measurement system to those advertisers and media buyers willing to consider an alternative.
TV companies may soon utilize the same technology Nielsen is putting to work for Roku. Nielsen says its work to measure unduplicated audiences across four different types of viewing will underpin its new “Nielsen One” technology it plans to unveil at the end of 2022.