Nielsen has committed itself to a new TV ratings system, Nielson One, by 2024. Thew new system promises to better integrate digital and streaming activity, the company has said.
Nielsen One will make its presence felt long before 2024, with a phased introduction kicking off from the end of 2022. Nielson claims the system will offer ad-supported media stakeholders ‘a single, unduplicated view of their audiences across all platforms and mediums.‘
What is Nielsen proposing?
Nielsen is evolving in response to a migration of viewers to new video sources, forcing it to adapt in turn to provide accurate audience metric for both advertisers and content providers.
Nielsen One is the culmination of this shift, providing parallel cross-platform ratings spanning live and on-demand television for individual ads and videos.
This revolution won‘t happen overnight. Nielsen is not expected to introduce cross-media metrics by the fourth quarter of 2022, with a full switchover not occurring until autumn 2024.
In the words of Nielsen chief executive officer David Kenny: ”2024 is when we take away the old stuff and just do it in this new way.”
Nielsen clients won‘t have to wait quite so long however, gaining the opportunity to preview and evaluate audience data from 2021.
Why does it matter?
Naturally, Nielsen will be unable to make this leap on its own; the success of the initiative will be predicated on the support of programmers, tech companies and advertisers not known for their ready embrace of all-new rating systems.
This challenge has been given an added dimension by parallel efforts from ComScore to introduce a competing cross-platform measurement yardstick, Campaign Ratings, further fragmenting and confusing the picture.
Marketers and content providers have long lamented the absence of accurate audience metrics which enable them to follow viewers as they jump between various ad-supported video sources.
Such problems have only become more pronounced during lockdown with fickle consumers swimming in a deepening pool of streaming video platforms.
By way of illustration Nielsen calculates that US adults allocated an incredible 12.2 trillion minutes to digital, 11.1 million minutes with linear TV and 2.8 million minutes with streaming between March and August.
While consumers can navigate freely between platforms advertisers cannot, preventing them from accessing a single unduplicated view of all ad impressions.
The information and measurement provider estimates that advertisers spent a cumulative $100bn annually on premium video providers. A sum that is only expected to grow with the launch of new ad-based services such as Discovery Plus in January and HBO Max in the second quarter
Nielsen, which is close to spinning off its consumer research unit as a separate entity, has said it will continue to offer legacy metrics after the changes are implemented.