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Digital Transformation Media Measurement Future of TV

Nielsen bundles and rebrands its streaming measurement solutions


By Kendra Barnett, Associate Editor

October 7, 2021 | 5 min read

TV ratings and measurement firm Nielsen today announced it is unifying its various TV streaming solutions into one unified measurement suite. The move could help advertisers make more knowledgeable decisions about their media strategies.

Nielsen website home page

Nielsen is consolidating its streaming measurement capabilities

Today’s announcement comes in the midst of Nielsen’s rebranding efforts as it aims to reestablish its credibility following the suspension of its accreditations by the Media Rating Council.

What happened

● Nielsen, long-considered the authority in TV ratings and ad measurement — but riddled by controversy amid a recent accreditation suspension — is gunning for a comeback. As part of its product development efforts, the company today announced it is unifying its various streaming solutions in one centralized measurement suite that will include both subscription-based and free ad-supported models servicing content, advertising and steaming platforms.

● Over the past year, Nielsen has invested significantly in its streaming measurement capabilities. It more than tripled the sample size of its Streaming Meter Homes program, which could enable the company to offer more precise and accurate data regarding streaming activity across device types. The company also introduced additional CTV ad inventory from both Vizio and Samsung to its roster of ad measurement clients. Hulu, Roku and Amazon are also counted among the company’s streaming partners.

● As part of today’s news, Nielsen says it will be rebranding two specific streaming measurement tools to support the transition to Nielsen One, the company’s nascent framework for cross-channel media measurement. (The Drum discussed the goals of Nielsen One with the company’s senior vice-president of product management in May.)

● Under the new structure, Nielsen’s existing Streaming Video Ratings will be renamed Nielsen Streaming Platform Ratings. This service aims to offer a high-level view into streaming behavior across both subscription-based and ad-supported streaming services. Nielsen Subscription Video on Demand Content Ratings will now be called Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings and will continue to offer granular program- and episode-level measurement. The company says this service is already employed by seven of the top 10 television network groups and 14 top agencies. The new consolidated suite of offerings will also include the existing Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, which aims to provide cross-platform performance insights across CTV, mobile and desktop.

● “By combining our streaming solutions under one banner, Nielsen is providing the industry with a single destination to understand streaming audiences and how they are engaging with content, allowing media buyers and sellers to make the best decisions around ad strategies,” Deirdre Thomas, Nielsen’s managing director of US audience measurement product strategy said in a statement today.

Why it matters

● Considering that, according to recent data from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, ad spend in the CTV space is expected to average $16m per advertiser this year — up 8% from last year — Nielsen’s decision to invest in its streaming and CTV offerings is well-timed. Bundling its streaming offerings could bring value to media buyers, streaming platforms, content creators and studios by expanding their visibility into “who is streaming, what they’re watching, which platforms consumers are gravitating to and how much time they are spending with streaming content,” per Thomas. Ultimately, this expanded visibility could help all such players optimize their content and ad strategies.

● Plus, Nielsen claims it captures 100% of streaming minutes viewed on television screens, 75% of connected television (CTV) ad spend and 87% of total video digital ad spend across mobile, desktop and CTV channels. CTV buyers who partner with Nielsen could expand their reach and gain valuable insights regarding ad performance across TV, CTV, desktop and mobile ecosystems.

● The bundling of Nielsen’s streaming measurement services — which includes the rebranding of two of its capabilities — could also aid Nielsen in its goal to reposition itself and elevate awareness of its various measurement and content-related offerings, a goal outlined by the company’s chief marketer Jamie Moldafsky.

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