EDO Raises $80 Million To Chase Nielsen; TV Nets Out The “Stress” In Stress-Tested

Comic: Alternative Currencies

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The Royal Rumble Of Ratings

The TV analytics company EDO, co-founded by Edward Norton, raised $80 million at a $200 million valuation. 

The actor’s involvement stemmed from Norton’s experience with streaming production, since there are no obvious benchmarks like box office or DVD sales. Actors, writers and directors are often in the dark on how shows or movies fared.

Nowadays, a spike in online searches about a brand is a surer sign of ROI than ratings or social media signals, EDO chief executive Kevin Krim tells The Wall Street Journal

EDO’s fundraising also shows how companies see Nielsen’s TV ratings incumbency as their own opportunity. The opportunity to provide an alternative measurement system to Nielsen was part of the reasoning for EDO’s investors. 

NBCU, for one, put EDO in the “incrementality measurement,” “multi-touch attribution” and “audience verification” categories in its LUMAscape-like chart of TV measurement’s future.

The field of contenders taking on Nielsen is large and diverse: Besides the obvious rivals – such as Comscore and iSpot – there are programmatic ad verification services like Integral Ad Science, Moat and Human, ad servers like Innovid that target them, plus broadcasters and streaming platforms themselves (think Roku or NBCUniversal). Panel-based TV analytics startups HyphaMetrics and TVision even see a gap.

Ready, Set, Joust!

Speaking of TV measurement, the alternative currency race looks like the beginning of a marathon.

On Thursday, WarnerMedia and IPG Mediabrands announced a joint “test-and-learn” with what they call the three leading contenders in alternative currency: Comscore, VideoAmp and iSpot.

Programmers like NBCUniversal have stress-tested providers for months and are placing bets on some of the top performers. But this year’s upfronts are right around the corner, and measurement providers haven’t crossed the finish line yet.

Ahead of the upfronts, WarnerMedia will measure the same campaigns at the same time and provide reporting on cross-platform frequency and unduplicated reach for its currency alternatives. WarnerMedia expects a side-by-side comparison of each provider’s performance and strengths to guide its clients into “making the right investments,” Andrea Zapata, WarnerMedia head of research, data and insights, tells AdExchanger.

Zapata says the industry is “no longer beholden to just one currency” – but the providers are game for the competition.

Comscore is readying up to prove its place with the “completeness of [its] data and the stability of [its] methodological approach,” CRO Carol Hinnant tells AdExchanger.

In other words: Bring it on.

Ad Tech Gets Its Head In The Game

Has in-game advertising finally gone mainstream? 

Here’s one indicator that it has: The IAB hosted PlayFronts, its first-ever gaming-focused event, this week.

The event offered a contrast between companies presenting ready-for-market in-game ad solutions and attendees from the brand and agency side who are reticent and sometimes have misconceptions about gaming demographics, Digiday reports.

Many presenters trotted out typical, slightly worn-out stats like how more than 50% of gamers are women. But information that’s old news to the tech side can be a revelation for many agency and media buyers.

IAB VP Zoe Soon says the timing of the event represented a “perfect storm” thanks to rising industry awareness, a profusion of ad tech solutions and the decline of linear TV viewership each reaching critical mass at around the same time.

The metaverse, which in most cases is built on video game technology, was a frequent topic. However, many attendees said the ad industry would be wise to capitalize on more tangible opportunities in gaming rather than chasing web 3.0’s preexistent FOMO. 

But Wait, There’s More!

The SEC is investigating Amazon’s use of third-party seller data by its private-label businesses. [WSJ]

IRI and NPD, a business analytics provider, are set to merge. NPD was rumored to be considering an acquisition of IRI for $5 billion. 

Ideoclick raises $20 million as it transitions from an agency model to an SaaS tech business. [release]

The Laboratory for Advanced Marketing will use scientific experimentation to inform and expand marketers’ business functions. [MediaVillage]

You’re Hired!

The agency Drake Cooper hires Mindy Stomp as co-president, GM. [release]

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