Nielsen Total Audience Measurement

11/05/2016

On Monday 9th May Nielsen Media Research held an event in Dublin to discuss the roll out of their Total Audience measurement solution which intends to measure audience’s consumption of media across all devices (TV’s, portable screens, browsers & apps) and all access points (internet connected devices like Smart TV’s and Roku devices that stream content to TV screens).

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On Monday 9th May Nielsen Media Research held an event in Dublin to discuss the roll out of their Total Audience measurement solution which intends to measure audience’s consumption of media across all devices (TV’s, portable screens, browsers & apps) and all access points (internet connected devices like Smart TV’s and Roku devices that stream content to TV screens). 

Claire Harris, TAM/AIS Director at Nielsen Ireland, described Total Audience Measurement as “a Cross Platform Framework designed to create comparable measurement by aligning metrics between linear broadcasting and digital”. 

Megan Clarken, Nielsen’s president of Global Product Leadership, highlighted a need for a new measurement, driven by significant audience behavioural changes over the last 10 years. Whether it’s time shifted viewing or streamed content, consumers today have an a-la-carte approach to content watching when they want instead of waiting for broadcasters to push programming to them via live TV. 

Total Audience Measurement is in fact two separate measurement services; one measuring viewership of advertising, the other measuring viewership of content. In Ireland the measurement of advertising will be introduced first. The output is designed to introduce Digital Ad Ratings (DARs) that can be compared and combined with television ratings (TVRs) to allow us measure a combined campaign reach and frequency running across TV, VOD, VOL and Online Display. Really this boils down to allowing us to better understand how Digital and TV advertising work together. 

This new service, “Nielsen Marketing Cloud”, has been developed through a number of new business acquisitions and partnerships. Nielsen’s Pointlogic have developed a suite of new channel planning tools, eXelate are Nielsen’s DMP (Data Management Platform), Integral Ad Science provide digital ad viewability measurement, Facebook are the chosen partner for audience profiling and cross device audience de-duplication, the existing TAM TV ratings panel provides TV viewing data and a (yet to be announced) research partner will be appointed to maintain a digital subscriber panel of 4,000 persons in Ireland. 

Nielsen’s intention is to future proof measurement of audience exposure to advertising/content, evolving from where we stand today (mere demographic measurement) to a future of cross platform, data driven audience buys programmatically executed across the advertising ecosystem. 

Terrie Brennan, Nielsen Executive VP of Marketing Effectiveness, spoke about how advertisers wish to “guarantee success in a digital world”. She proposes that the Nielsen Total Audience Measurement will allow advertisers to measure the “reach of their content, the resonance of that communication among their target consumers and the reaction or behaviour change resulting from it”, so that we as marketers can “prove the return on marketing investment”. 

The benefit of digital ad ratings she described as; unlocking greater accuracy, enabling a faster reporting of data and importantly the output of overnight ratings which are consistent and compatible with TV measurement. 

In other markets like USA and UK advertisers are using Digital Ad Ratings to optimise campaigns in-flight, to monitor the campaigns reach and frequency as it builds, to validate that programmatic ad inventory is correctly targeted, and to understand the relationship between consumers TV advertising exposure and online reactions to content. Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings enable DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick Campaign Manager users to measure digital media with metrics fully comparable to TV. 

In the USA early findings from the introduction of total viewing ratings have found the following;

1. Video catch up viewing works well outside of the traditional 7 day window therefore Nielsen US have expanded this to cover 20 days – in some cases (genre specific) this viewing window is much larger, for example up to 40 days on drama. By expanding the viewing window you open up more tracked inventory and can better understand the entire TV exposure of your advertising. 

2. 20% of viewing of “TV” programming is done via digital devices. Based on the US findings and allowing for expanded viewing windows and digital audience ratings in many instances there could be more than 30% of additional viewing currently not being included with the Nielsen TV ratings for programmes. 

The event finished with a Q&A with the panel which was moderated by Su Duff, Head of Business Development at AAI. The questions from the floor pressed the panel on a wide range of topics and delved into some technical aspects of the proposed service, the roll out plan and Nielsen’s experiences in other markets outside of Ireland. 

So what does this mean for Advertisers? 

In the short/medium term the new system will unlock the ability for us to measure the incremental reach and frequency online offers above linear TV advertising. This is the first step that Nielsen plan to roll out towards the back end of this year. By October Nielsen will have recruited a panel of advertisers to subscribe (pay) to have their digital and TV campaigns measured using this new service. 

Ultimately in the future when we can programmatically address advertising communications to TV and VOD audiences, (like we can online banners today), this service will allow for advertisers to activate behaviourally targeted advertising. That is, instead of pushing mass communications to broad demographics like we do with TV today it will allow for  specific communications to be delivered to relevant segments across whatever devices they are using to view audio visual content. 

Media fragmentation is making it increasingly difficult to reach consumers and particularly difficult to measure how advertiser’s content is influencing their purchase decisions so we welcome every proposal to help measure that ecosystem.  Total Audience Measurement, while initially focussed on TV and Digital will be useful, but we long for the day when we can measure our client’s campaigns over every medium with a unified data source to give us one reliable measurement of a campaigns total reach and frequency and attribution to outcomes within clients business.  

It will be really interesting to see what the top 20 programme list looks like when those programmes could equally come from a TV broadcaster, YouTube or a streaming service. 

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