Who Is NBCU’s First Cross-Platform TV Measurement Partner?

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NEW YORK — NBCU has unveiled its first certified measurement partner, a decision that provides the multimedia giant with an alternative currency for cross platform measurement on its One Platform.


The owner of Peacock, NBC, Telemundo and Universal Studios selected iSpot.tv, the TV ad measurement firm promoting “fast, accurate and actionable measurement across linear and streaming investments.”

It is a particularly significant announcement, as it signals a change in how the $70 billion dollar TV industry will be transacted, particularly on the heels of what NBCU calls “the ongoing challenges” with Nielsen. 

“This news seeks to address two major industry issues — that the industry does not currently count everything and that we do not connect counting to understand the true overlap amongst audiences,” a NBCU spokesperson tells RBR+TVBR.

NBCU will utilize a test and learn approach with Publicis Media as the first media holding company to test this new measurement across NBCU’s entire One Platform starting Q1, which includes the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Super Bowl LVI.  

The acceleration to alternative currencies puts in motion what NBCU is calling “a new foundation for the 2022-2023 Upfront cycle; Upfront week is traditionally held in mid-May, with NBCU staging its event at Radio City Music Hall.

The partnership with iSpot.tv begins today, with the company supporting NBCUniversal’s audience verification initiatives for both ads and program ratings.

Why iSpot.tv? NBCU likely saw appeal in its second-by-second measurement for ads and verified impressions for programming and advertising.

“The new deal is part of a transformative effort by NBCUniversal to bring advertisers more accurate, timely and diverse insights that capture the way real audiences consume content and use this broad array of performance metrics to modernize the way video is valued,” the company said.

Using iSpot.tv, brands who advertise with NBCU will gain access to real-time airing data for linear, streaming and time-shifted viewing, and receive reports on a next-day basis that include metrics such as verified ad impressions, reach and frequency, linear and streaming overlap and incrementality. Measurement will be provided at the household level as well as at the person level for age/gender demos and/or for customized audience segments.

Further, select NBCU advertisers will have access to impact measurement including granular attention and interruption rates, business-outcome reporting and creative performance that includes pre-testing and brand-lift analysis.

NBCU added that it comes on the heels of an extensive measurement evaluation process and industry consultation, and will lay a new foundation for how NBCUniversal transacts in the 2022-2023 Upfront cycle. Moreover, this commitment to new measurement and more accurate data builds on the company’s recent introduction of NBCUnified, a first-party consumer data and identity platform that will serve as the data spine for these ongoing measurement transformation initiatives.

NBCUniversal will continue to announce its Certified Measurement Partners as they become certified.

Interestingly, it is former longtime Nielsen executive Kelly Abcarian, today the EVP of Measurement & Impact at NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships, that is pushing for alternatives to her ex-employer.

The key word: alternatives.

“This is not a shift away from one panel-based system to another, but a definitive step toward embracing the metrics brands already use to evaluate media companies,” Abcarian explained. “We have an obligation to deliver consumers a great experience, and an obligation to our customers and shareholders to utilize measurement systems that adequately capture the reach, attention, and outcomes we deliver. Our learnings from this partnership will help transform our measurement solutions as we head into the next Upfront season and bring advertisers more data that accurately reflects our audiences, their consumption habits and campaign impact.”

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