CBS, Nielsen launching cross-media measurement trial

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NielsenMore good news coming from the Nielsen-Arbitron merger: They jointly announced CBS’s participation in Nielsen’s first-ever trial to measure cross-media campaigns on local television and radio. The test will combine data from Nielsen’s Local People Meter panel with data from the newly acquired Nielsen Audio’s PPM panel to provide the cross-platform measurement. Results will be shared in late Q1. It will focus on combining CBS local TV audience data with CBS Radio audience data to build a foundation that measures unduplicated reach and time spent across both media.


Earlier this year, Nielsen announced the successful completion of a two-week technical trial with CBS aimed at capturing and measuring viewing of television content on mobile devices using Syncbak technology.

The new trial, says Nielsen, will also measure reach and frequency for campaigns that run on both local TV and radio. The test results will expand local media planning analytics and develop more robust inputs for marketing mix modeling. As this pilot test develops, Nielsen intends to open participation across a wider group of clients for the benefit of the industry.

By looking at their audience across local TV and radio in a given month, CBS is exploring the development of an analytic framework that would allow media planners to develop cross-media strategies to maximize reach as well as address the issues of day-to-day and week-to-week reach, distribution and the concept of recency.

“In today’s multi-platform advertising environment, it is not enough to set full campaign reach and frequency targets,” said David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer, CBS Corp. “The advertiser must distribute the exposure to their message over time – and in a manner that assures that each potential purchaser is exposed to that message in a consistent manner before each purchase occasion. With our strong combination of television and radio stations in major markets and the extension of these local stations over online and mobile platforms, CBS is uniquely positioned to provide advertisers with the combination of market penetration and controlled frequency distribution needed to optimize the return from their media investments in these markets. Armed with this new cross-platform, local market custom analysis, each advertiser will be able to use these powerful media to their full potential and both TV and radio stations nationwide will benefit.”

“We are very pleased to be working with CBS to bring together television and radio measurement as a result of our newly acquired Nielsen Audio capabilities and for the benefit of all clients,” stated Lynda Clarizio, President U.S. Media, Nielsen.  “Developing new models of cross-media measurement allow our clients to identify expanded markets of potentially loyal consumers of products or content.”

RBR-TVBR observation: This is great news for not only CBS, but other media companies like Journal Broadcast, Hearst, Cox Media Group and more. Having the ability—the tools–to now show near real-time rich data on cross media campaigns will most definitely drive cross-platform buys—whether or not the radio and TV stations are co-owned. It will drive more creative pitches and prove they worked after the fact. The future of cross-platform campaigns also only gets better with Nielsen’s announcement that beginning with the 2014-15 TV season it will incorporate audiences viewing TV content on digital devices into traditional TV measurement.


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.

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