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Nielsen creates addressable TV ad group after buying Sorenson Media

Nielsen CEO David Kenny

Nielsen has expanded its addressable advertising capabilities for smart TVs with the launch of its Advanced Video Advertising Group.

To accelerate this initiative, Nielsen has acquired addressable TV technology provider Sorenson Media for $11.25m.

Nielsen won Sorenson in a bankruptcy auction after the TV data provider filed for Chapter 11 to get out of a data-providing contact with Sinclar Broadcasting valued at over $100m.

Nielsen chief executive officer David Kenny is looking to bring Nielsen forward as the TV landscape changes, saying a "significant portion" of future TV advertising will be addressable.

"It was evident that we needed to bring our unique set of technology assets and talent to tackle the greatest challenges the TV advertising industry is facing. And with the Sorenson Media acquisition, we can create improved value and efficiency across the entire media chain - from ad targeting and delivery to measurement and attribution - and make addressable TV more of a reality," said Kenny.

Nielsen acquired Gracenote in late 2016 for its Automatic Content Recognition technology (ACR). This deal will combine Gracenote's ACR with Sorenson's end-to-end ad deliver solution to allow for addressable advertising for TV at scale.

"Nielsen has the experience and technology to help expand a scalable industry-wide, end-to-end addressable TV advertising solution. And, we can provide a measurement solution that innovates on current approaches with a bridge to the future," said Kelly Abcarian, general manager of Nielsen's Advanced Video Advertising Group.

Sorenson's addressable technology will be added to Nielsen's five-market addressable TV pilot it launched late last year with broadcasters including CBS and A+E Networks.