We are fortunate to be involved in the time of the great expansion of media. But with this great expansion comes measurement challenges and Nielsen has been grappling with how to calculate cross platform behavior so that it can be an independent measurement on a single platform. Their solution is the recently launched Nielsen One which is, according to David Kenny, Nielsen's chief executive officer and chief diversity officer, "a single cross-media solution to drive comparable and comprehensive metrics across all platforms."
Nielsen One is Announced
"What started out as just television and movies has now grown into a multi-platform cross media landscape, bigger than anyone ever anticipated," explained Kenny. "Consumers are no longer limited to engaging with video content at as particular time and place. They now have endless options for viewing whatever and whenever they want to." The endless choice of platforms, devices, mediums and ad formats coupled with an increased commitment to privacy has led to a wealth of data from a range of sources that can often be duplicative. Nielsen One aims to solve for all of these exigencies. "With Nielsen's cross-media solution, Nielsen One," he asserted, "we are aiming to provide marketers, advertisers and publishers with a single metric, across digital and linear that is trusted, independent and standardized across the industry."
In mapping out Nielsen One's complete roll-out by 2024, Nielsen's Chief Operating Officer, Karthik Rao, explained that while the industry is at a major inflection point with innovation, it has been accelerated by COVID. "The amount of disruption and innovation that we have experienced in the past nine months would normally happen over the course of a few years," he noted. Between the fifteen new streaming services launched in the course of two years to the +33% increase in spend for addressable in one year and the push to full distribution of smart TVs where nearly 8 out of 10 homes have a least one, the industry's expansion is taking place on many levels. Add to that is an increased focus on, "privacy restrictions, increased consumer awareness and regulatory changes. Digital ad tech, measurement, activation will be reborn in a world without reliable persistent identifiers such as cookies and mobile ad ids and there is a massive shift to streaming while the walled garden walls are growing higher and the open web remains a question mark. These changes intensify the need for standard measurement and audience de-duplication," he concluded.
Nielsen has already made great progress in cross-media measurement and this effort, through Nielsen One, is expected to ramp up over the next two years. "We are already evolving the national currency to include addressable measurement in the first half of 2021," Rao noted, "We are leveraging our own ACR data and announced the integration of data from Direct TV, Dish and Vizio's Project OAR. Starting in late 2021, for live television, we will be previewing sub-minute ads and content metrics… In 2022 we will fully launch the cross-media product and expect the market to fully transition by the fall 2024 season."
And The Industry Responds
For Luis di Como, executive vice president, global media, Unilever, the need for a single cross-media solution is paramount. "One of the biggest advantages we have at Unilever is our coverage," he explained, "If you see thought the lens of geography, portfolio and channels, we have millions of data points and signals that we can use to understand the future," in a global marketplace. Today, Unilever boasts a People Data Center. "This is the place where we capture, store, analyze and leverage all of the data that we have from first party data to second and third party to get a holistic view of the consumer and to get unique insights," he stated and added, "COVID accelerated that trend," moving the markets from ecommerce to "e-everything," creating that much more data to handle and changing consumer behaviors. One single measurement will enable companies like Unilever to mitigate waste and manage frequency resulting in optimizing company efforts and creating a better consumer experience.
Many companies have been working independently to find cross-media solutions. How can we best combine our efforts to get to an industry standard solution? Michael Kassan, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, Medialink, moderated a panel of executives from across the media industry. "We have made progress in the last year but … we need to move faster, marketers are getting frustrated, digital continues to grow," he stated. Moving into 2021 and beyond, Kassan posited four major questions – How do we increase user engagement in advertising? How can we create new, more non-interruptive experiences that would be preferred by consumers and work for marketers? How do we make it easier for marketers to connect to the audiences that move their brand? How do we insure your messages are in front of the right viewer?
For Kirk McDonald, North America's chief executive officer at GroupM, "the challenges facing the industry will require us to work together and be more cooperative to make the industry function better," and move towards single sources of measurement for video across all distribution platforms.
With an extremely diversified portfolio, Linda Yaccarino, chairman of global advertising and partnerships, NBCU, believes that since the pandemic, "strategic priorities have changed dramatically. Did we anticipate, unfortunately the theme parks being largely closed down? Did we anticipate the studio business being what it is today? But additionally, did we anticipate the broadband business having extraordinary and meteoric growth with no anticipation of that slowing down?" Broadband, aggregation and streaming are now the new priorities to, "put the consumer at the core." She added, that as the industry comes together with, "a common purpose for an open platform that is dedicated to safety and transparency, we can really make strides and get ahead to meet the consumer needs."
Having worked on both the client and agency side, Ben Jankowski, group head of global media, Mastercard, has been quoted as saying, "The biggest decision we have to make as marketers is where we put our money." This is a challenge that is not yet being solved by today's measurement. "Today we can't measure the holistic view of the consumer. Today, with the research challenge we have and the business realities of people in the marketplace who have built products that are not conducive to being comparable, we have fragmentation which is more difficult to measure than any time before. We have to get in front of it," he admonished.
Tara Walpert Levy, vice president, agency & brand solutions at Google noted, "The viewer is all that matters. They define what television is. If you are a buyer, it is critical to have objective, comparable, independent measurement which buyers and sellers both have confidence in and that lets you operate at scale." For her, Nielsen One will make this process easier and impactful.
Kenny explained that Nielsen is hyper focused on solving this industry challenge. "Nielsen has been part of the challenge," he admitted, "We have tried to measure everything historically in different methodologies so there was a digital ad rating, TV ad rating, cable rating. When I got here two years ago we did a complete overhaul to get to one id platform and the one ability to measure all of it in the same de-duplicated way. It is the only way we can solve this problem."
Also read: Nielsen Introduces Single-Source Cross-Media Measurement by Oriana Schwindt
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The opinions expressed here are the author's views and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet.