Ex-Nielsen Exec Abcarian Shifts to NBCUni Role


Until this morning, it was largely understood that a 16-year Nielsen veteran who had been a highly visible member of the company’s global audience measurement team would be transitioning to Roku.

It was a conclusion made by connecting the dots: Roku some seven weeks ago agreed to purchase Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising business, and that deal closed April 16.

However, it turns out this Nielsen pro isn’t going to Roku. Instead, she’s going to a Comcast arm.

Kelly Abcarian has just accepted the role of EVP/Measurement & Impact within NBCUniversal‘s Advertising and Partnerships division.

NBCU made the revelation early Wednesday (4/21), calling Abcarian an “industry-renowned advanced advertising leader.” In her new role, Abcarian will “spearhead the company’s rapidly accelerating cross-platform and full-funnel measurement capabilities, leading innovation from impressions to impact at a local, national and global level across NBCUniversal’s One Platform.”

Abcarian reports into Krishan Bhatia, NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships’ President & Chief Business Officer, and will collaborate closely with the division’s Sales, Planning, Strategy, Partnerships and Ad Platforms & Operations functions “to build on the company’s position as a leading media and technology company to set a new standard for the future of all-screen measurement, advanced advertising solutions, and data-driven insights.”

“Kelly’s addition to our team represents a step change for our company and the industry, when it comes to the future of cross-platform measurement and data innovation,” Bhatia said. “Consumers have established an all-screen future and we’re doubling down on our position to usher in the next era of measurement. Kelly has decades-long measurement and advanced advertising experience, along with deep connections within the media industry and a partnership track record across CTV/OTT platforms.”

Bhatia adds that Abcarian will play an important role in the growth and development of NBCUniversal’s data strategy, including efforts such as NBCU ID and the Audience Insights Hub, which NBCU believes “will drive greater transparency, interoperability and results for brands while maintaining privacy as a core tenant.”

“She will also be an essential voice in the marketplace, working to partner with many of the leading trade organizations, measurement and technology companies on solutions and industry-wide initiatives,” NBCU notes.

“If you look across the industry, the signals are clear: we must collectively decide to embrace the future that our audiences have created,” Abcarian commented. “NBCUniversal is on the cutting-edge of next-generation measurement and targeting. And I’m thrilled to join the expert team behind One Platform and work to provide marketers the resources and techniques they need to fully understand the impact of their investments.”

Abcarian most recently served as GM of Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising Group, where she led the company’s addressable initiatives including the strategic acquisitions of several key players within the space. Prior to that, Abcarian led Nielsen’s global audience measurement product portfolio where she was responsible for the creation of Nielsen’s Total Audience Product suite, along with the development of Digital Ad Ratings for CTV.

Before joining Nielsen in May 2005, Abcarian held leadership positions at Oracle, Siebel Systems and Arthur Andersen.