These offerings can be combined with comScore’s measurement offerings to provide more complete tracking of audience exposure across channels.
“The proof is in the pudding,” Livek said.
Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, noted that although both parties maintained strong positions in certain aspects of the measurement ecosystem, neither could challenge Nielsen going it alone. And even together, he said Nielsen has an edge.
“Together, they still trail Nielsen a lot, but they have a chance to push new products into the market with more scale,” he said.
The WPP Connection
WPP Group has a stake in both companies, which may have provided the impetus for the deal.
“Certainly, a big beneficiary is WPP, who have been vocal critics of Nielsen and are big shareholders in both companies, and probably instigated the merger,” Morgan said.
Elgin Thompson, managing director of Digital Capital Advisors, agreed: “It’s their dollars that fund the entire ecosystem and the transaction is a win for agencies and their clients.”
Matta did not waver when asked if non-WPP agencies were concerned about a WPP-backed joint measurement service. He reiterated WPP’s sole role as an investor in the company without maintaining a board seat or observer position.
“In comScore’s case, since we announced the original WPP investment, our business with other large agencies has actually increased year over year,” he said. “We absolutely both believe in the importance of independence and providing end-to-end measurement, which is the foundation of both our companies. If we favored any one agency, that wouldn’t help us grow.”
John Nitti, chief investment officer for Publicis agency ZenithOptimedia, seemed unfazed by the merger and said he’s “always happy to welcome evolved measurement tools and methods.”