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Nielsen to Launch Single Measurement Solution in Q4 2022

Today, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) announced its plans to launch a single, cross-media solution to drive more comparable and comprehensive metrics across platforms.  Nielsen’s transformative cross-media solution, called Nielsen ONE, will evolve the current metrics that underpin the more than $100 billion video advertising ecosystem using a phased approach. The company plans to launch its single measurement solution beginning in Q4 2022 with the intention to fully transition the industry to cross-media metrics by the Fall 2024 season.  

More so than ever, consumers today have virtually endless choice in terms of platforms on which to watch their favorite video content.  Nielsen data shows that between March and August 2020, U.S. adults spent 12.2 trillion minutes with digital, 11.1 trillion minutes with linear TV and 2.8 trillion minutes streaming -- and these numbers continue to exponentially grow.  As audiences move seamlessly between linear, streaming and digital, advertisers are demanding a single, deduplicated view of their audiences across all platforms and mediums. Concurrently, publishers want to provide more ad options for buyers and improve the overall viewer experience.

“With the rapidly evolving landscape and on-going shifts in consumer behavior, it is no longer acceptable to take a siloed approach to our clients’ video plans,” said Doug Ray, CEO, Dentsu Media. “Cross-media measurement is paramount to maximize reach across platforms with the right frequency. We are encouraged by Nielsen’s commitment to a single measurement solution and unified framework that will drive comparability across TV and digital video so that our clients can better allocate dollars and maximize ROI.”

With Nielsen ONE, advertisers and publishers will be able to transact using a single metric across linear and digital that is trusted, independent and standardized across the industry.  With a single, deduplicated number, marketers will have visibility into total video consumption regardless of platform or device.  Marketers will also benefit from a better understanding of unique audiences, the ability to better understand frequency and reduce double counting, inflated metrics and advertising waste. Nielsen ONE will also underpin the company’s outcomes solutions, thus enabling the industry to optimize media plans and maximize performance across platforms. 

“With Nielsen ONE, we are delivering a single, comparable metric for TV and digital that will provide video consumption across all platforms, services and devices.  For media buyers and sellers, this means better monetizing their assets and maximizing their investments,'' said Karthik Rao, COO, Nielsen. “Today’s announcement marks a major milestone for Nielsen as we put our cross-media vision into motion. We’ve made significant enhancements over the last year to turbocharge the tech and data science required to make an industry wide cross-media solution a reality.”

“Cross-media measurement is a generational opportunity and one of the hardest challenges that our industry has had to solve,” said Ben Jankowski, SVP, Global Media for Mastercard.  “There are tough technology issues, but also a very real cultural shift that needs to happen that encourages broadcasters, platforms and marketers to work closely together to drive better productivity across the board.  With cross-media measurement, it’s even more important to have independent third-parties like Nielsen and auditors like the MRC to help us find one common source of truth in the sea of competing interests and navigate a very confusing landscape.”   

Nielsen has already begun transforming its audience measurement solutions to increase resilience and flexibility.  As previously announced, Nielsen is future-proofing its digital measurement, evolving its National TV currency to include addressable measurement and expanding connected TV (CTV) coverage to include additional smart TV manufacturers and digital video platforms in 2021.  Starting in Q4 2022, Nielsen will release parallel cross-media ratings that will deliver metrics at subminute intervals for individual ads and content, providing greater comparability across platforms and ad models, along with expansive campaign reporting.  Nielsen expects this measurement will ultimately become the foundation of the cross-media buying and selling process, succeeding the current form of TV and digital measurement no later than the Fall 2024 season.  

“Today’s fragmented measurement landscape makes planning, implementing, and validating cross-platform campaigns overly complex and increasingly less predictable,” said Adam Gerber, Global Chief Media Officer, Essence. “As we shift to addressable models, prioritize reach, and optimize to outcomes, it's critical that we develop and adopt consistent, single-source measurement solutions. Nielsen’s new cross-media approach is an important step in delivering the confidence and transparency that advertisers require to support holistic campaigns." 

“Any innovation that moves the needle on capturing true ROI across media, especially across platforms to create consistency in reporting so people aren’t grading their own homework, gets a thumbs up from IPG Mediabrands. We look forward to holding all media to the same standards of performance accountability and transparency as a result of Nielsen’s new product,” said Daryl Lee, Global CEO, IPG Mediabrands.

Nielsen has begun unifying its technology platform to help make its audience measurement products more interoperable, flexible and scalable.  This solves for cross-media measurement by embracing a “ONE” mindset to modernize its panels, platforms and products. 

  • ONE Platform: Nielsen has developed a unified, cloud-based platform that allows easy integration and normalization of big data sets including automatic content recognition (ACR) data and return path data (RPD), as well as direct integrations with digital platforms and CTV providers.  It will also be underpinned by a flexible technology stack which enables large scale models using machine learning techniques and algorithms to more quickly deliver true comparability and consistency across sources. 

  • ONE Panel: Nielsen will unify its gold-standard panels and meters into one single-source, geographically representative panel that will gather viewing across devices including TV, CTV, mobile devices and computers. The Nielsen ONE panel underpins its new ID resolution system to validate audiences and deduplicate exposures across ads and content.  

  • ONE Product: Nielsen is simplifying its TV and digital solutions portfolio into a single cross-media product that provides reach and frequency metrics by delivering a holistic, deduplicated view of both content and ad performance regardless of screen, device or platform.  A key component of this solution is a new proprietary technology that will measure every single ad on linear TV at the subminute level to account for exact commercial minutes.

Nielsen has architected the backbone for delivering holistic, cross-media metrics across all video and continues to lay the foundation that will underpin outcomes measurement and help advertisers maximize ROI. With ownership of the technology stack and back-end infrastructure as well as access to broad data sets, Nielsen will swiftly launch new products, feature sets and data insights that maintain the quality and continuity of its measurement services and adapt to ongoing changes in the technology and privacy landscape.

[Editor's note: This is a lightly edited press release.]

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