Nielsen, ComScore Move Faster on Multi-Screen Audience Measurement

Nielsen and comScore are moving fast on cross-platform campaign verification. Both companies today recorded milestones in their ability to report on campaign reach and frequency across TV, the Internet, and connected video devices.

Nielsen announced commercial availability of its Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings product,

which aims to measure the reach of video ad campaigns across screens. During a trial phase the product was tested by ESPN, Facebook, GroupM, Hulu and Unilever tested the product, using it to obtain unduplicated reach, frequency and GRP metrics across platforms.

While Nielsen’s pitch to marketers is focused on video ad measurement across channels, it also offers combined measurement of display advertising in concert with television. It’s still unclear whether advertisers are keen on seeing unified reach and frequency reporting for ad types as divergent as banner ads and TV interstitials however. (press release)

Meanwhile ComScore has made a similar move with the global launch of its validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) for Video product. vCE Video measures “GRPs, demographics and behavioral profiles of audiences” for video campaigns, in much the same way Nielsen’s does. While it doesn’t offer a direct comparison with television campaigns, comScore believes the product creates more compatibility with with TV reporting. For instance, it offers overnight reporting of audience demographics and tie-ins with comScore’s integrated audience data that includes TV audiences. (press release)

AdExchanger recently spoke with Steve Hasker, Nielsen’s president, global media products and advertiser solutions, to get a little more on its audience measurement philosophy.

What’s the simplest way of thinking about Online Campaign Ratings and what it does for advertisers?

STEVE HASKER: Online Campaign Ratings is the first comprehensive advertising measurement system that has existed. It is a rating or a GRP for reach and frequency by designated marketing area (DMA) that comes out on a daily basis that is comparable to TV. What it brings is a whole new level of accuracy to online measurement, firstly. Secondly, it brings a comparability to the rest of the marketing spend, principally TV, that hasn’t existed today. That enables advertisers to demand and publishers to offer guarantees around the audiences that they’re buying and selling.

How’s the adoption?

We have had very significant uptake from the advertising community, led initially by Unilever. They were the first major advertiser to use OCR as their measurement system online. They’ve really been followed by a great many advertisers in the consumer packaged goods space, in the telecom space, in consumer electronics, in pharmaceutical, in almost every category you care to mention.

When you say a great many, are we talking hundreds?


You recently announced 15 online ad companies have embraced OCR. (press release) What’s important about these relationships? Is it simply automated tagging, or is there more to it?

There are three things that we think are of significance here. One is the automated tagging, which streamlines the end‑to‑end process. The second is the delivery of the data in a raw form to these platforms. Third, it’s a great marker of industry acceptance around the product, because these are very innovative, very fast‑moving players who decided to adopt this measurement system.

From a user‑experience standpoint, how does OCR work from an advertiser’s point of view?

Against their target audience, they will be able to see what percent of the delivery was on‑target for every media property on which a campaign is running. They’ll be able to see the age, the gender, the reach, the frequency, the DMA of the viewers, against each publisher, on a daily basis.

How much is riding on advertiser adoption of “Viewability”?  What about the online GRP?

There’s a lot of debate about what role viewability should play and how buyers and sellers of advertising should think about viewability. The premium publishers are likely to be advantaged if viewability really takes hold and gets traction, because more of their ads are delivered in premium content, above the fold and are viewable, in focus, all those good things.

Now there’s the question, will a GRP really take hold in the online environment? Now that Online Campaign Ratings is 12 months old, our view is that yes it will, because of the adoption we’ve seen from advertisers, publishers, and agencies.

We think there are real trajectories here and there’s real momentum that the GRPs comparability to TV will make it the standard of choice. Now, you put those two things together, viewability is likely to play a role. It remains unclear what role it will play. But the GRP is gathering momentum with each campaign and each day.

On a different note, can you comment on the recent patent lawsuits filed by comScore over ad verification technologies? (AdExchanger story) Nielsen is a partner to AdSafe, one of the companies that was targeted. Are you still working with AdSafe?  

We are still working with AdSafe. We’re very happy with that relationship and the product offering, its integration into OCR. I can’t comment on the ongoing litigation.

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