Horizon Media Uses Nielsen Advanced Audience, Closing In On Outcome-Based Linear TV Buying

Horizon Media is the first agency to use Nielsen Advanced Audience, a linear TV product designed to make measuring granular audience segments like “new parents” as easy as measuring age and gender with C3 and C7 ratings.

Advanced Audience allows agencies to find viewers in narrower segments than age and demographic and do post-campaign measurement.

“This is the first critical inflection point to get adoption against linear outcomes,” said Kelly Abcarian, GM of Nielsen advanced video advertising.

Horizon Media signed on because it wants more than half of its TV deals to transact based on business outcomes in the next three to five years, according to a CEO mandate. And Nielsen’s data will enable its TV planning teams to make smarter investments and forecasts.

“We need better intelligence if we are going to make bigger bets. And we can do so in a 100% transparent way,” said SVP and managing director Michele Donati.

Transparency is critical to Horizon. The audience segments measured by Nielsen can be used as a currency because both buyers and programmers can access Nielsen’s data.

Horizon’s clients can also see what shows and dayparts have concentrations of their target audiences and then understand how many people in those audience segments actually ended up watching the show. By contrast, tech solutions that offer similar segment-based buying often require blind buying of inventory. And they frequently don’t share their data with programmers, preventing use of a common currency.

The ability to offer transparency is one reason Nielsen decided to pursue outcomes-based measurement for TV. “We saw a need for the industry to have true, third-party independent capabilities,” Abcarian said.

Horizon Media can start using this data right away across all the programmers it works with. The agency can apply Advanced Audience to scatter buying or optimize an upfront buy by reallocating spend to a different network, Donati said.

Advanced Audience is based on Nielsen’s panel, and is infused with first-party and third-party data (from sources like MRI or Nielsen Catalina) from the brand or agency to create the segments.

Horizon incorporates Advanced Audience’s data into its own planning system for forecasting and measurement.

However, Advanced Audiences lacks OTT or CTV data. For now, it only covers linear TV. But this is the area that needed advanced segments the most.

“Linear TV is evolving,” Donati said. “Understanding the true audience we are reaching will help us fine tune our messaging and spend our clients’ money more effectively.

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