Has Nielsen Shifted On Total Content Ratings Launch?


Last Thursday (1/5), television industry trade publications jumped on the news that Nielsen is altering its plans on how its soon-to-deploy Total Content Ratings will be distributed to advertising agencies — ostensibly in response to criticisms from some of its key TV clients that the ratings are not ready for prime-time.

In communication sent Friday to RBR + TVBR from Nielsen representatives at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Nielsen says it modified the way in which it will be sharing data during the agency evaluation period that begins this month “at the behest of our television network clients.”

Nielsen notes that it continues to work closely with its media clients “to support them through their evaluation of Total Content Ratings,” and that it will be making “certain reports” available to agencies based on its clients, and where they stand in terms of implementation.

“These reports will evolve as more clients come online,” Nielsen said. “This will allow media clients to customize the data they wish to share, whether it be to focus on particular platforms, programs or demographics. This decision is not based on any methodological issues, but rather, client readiness and their need to further evaluate data.”

A Nielsen spokesperson notes that other aspects of the Total Audience framework — including Digital Ad Ratings, Digital Content Ratings, Total Ad Ratings, Out of Home, C35 data and OTT data — are already in active use by our clients.

That may not be enough to satisfy NBCUniversal Chairman/Ad Sales & Client Partnerships Linda Yaccarino. In mid-December, Yaccarino notified Nielsen that the Total Content Ratings product as it looks today “lacks the consistency and transparency the marketplace demands and expects from Nielsen.” Thus, she says, it is not ready to be released.

The Nielsen spokesperson says top brass are scheduled to meet with its Senior Research Council at the end of this month, at which time Nielsen will be discussing with its media and agency clients “the best mechanisms to make additional content ratings data available over the course of 2017.”