NBCUniversal has reached a landmark deal to partner with iSpot.tv as it continues to search for alternatives to Nielsen TV ratings, whose methodology has been subject to fierce industry criticism.
The firm will be added to NBCU’s roster as an official measurement provider, in addition to Nielsen. The “test-and-learn” arrangement, in NBCU’s phrase, will provide iSpot data from both the programming and advertising sides. It will include a pilot program to support the 2022 Olympic Winter Games as well as Super Bowl LVI.
Publicis Media, the major media agency will be the first company to try the new structure. NBCUniversal’s One Platform.
Networks and advertisers reacted strongly to Nielsen’s admission that it had underestimated linear TV and streaming in 2020 and part of 2021. The obscure but influential Media Rating Council yanked Nielsen’s accreditation and the measurement firm issued mea culpas, but insisted that at worst the margin of error had been in some cases 2%. Any undercounting was an insult to media companies that are aggressively moving to streaming and trying stay competitive in a world of constant disruptions from tech giants.
Last year, NBCU published a request for proposal for companies interested to offer alternatives to the Nielsen numbers. Numerous responses were received to the RFP. Nielsen One is the company’s upcoming measurement product, and it will be available for purchase by the end. It promises a more complete suite of measurement tools, capable of providing a more accurate picture of viewing on mobile, streaming and linear.
In recent years, iSpot’s methods have gained popularity in many parts of the media industry. The company’s growing reach is extensive and it can track viewing. “off the glass,”It can be used to stream over cable, satellite, over-the air, or streaming.
NBCU can access real-time streaming, linear and time-shifted viewing data via iSpot. Next-day metrics such as reach, frequency, and verification of ad impressions will be available to them. Individual viewers as well households will be measured for their age, gender and targeted audience groups.
As 2022 approaches, the stakes for NBCU are high. Super Bowl and Beijing Olympics are a combination that can generate millions of dollars in ad revenue. As the company heads towards 2022-23, it has been working to develop new methods for measuring viewing and transacting business with advertisers.
“This is not a shift away from one panel-based system to another, but a definitive step toward embracing the metrics brands already use to evaluate media companies,” said Kelly Abcarian, Measurement & Impact EVP at NBCU. “We have an obligation to deliver consumers a great experience, and an obligation to our customers and shareholders to utilize measurement systems that adequately capture the reach, attention, and outcomes we deliver.”She said that advertisers are the ultimate goal. “more data that accurately reflects our audiences, their consumption habits and campaign impact.”
NBCU was the first network to subscribe to verified impressions. iSpot.tv was the first company in 2014 to commercialize smart television data in a measurement app. In 2018, the two companies teamed again on business-outcome television measurement.
“NBCU is leaning into giving advertisers what they want: fast, accurate and granular cross-platform measurement that proves the value of investments,”Sean Muller, founder and CEO of iSpot, said. “We applaud the work NBCU kicked off last year to accelerate the TV industry toward a more audience-centric, cross-screen and outcome-oriented framework that helps brands invest with confidence.”