Nielsen’s Metrics Go Mobile (Officially)

The cross-device measurement chasm just got a little smaller with the commercial release of mobile ad measurement capabilities, now available as part of Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) tool.

The promise of mobile web and in-app measurement is both an alluring prospect for advertisers looking for a cross-platform view of consumers across digital and TV — and an important expansion for Nielsen.

“Up until this point, there has been a lack of quality third-party mobile ad measurement, and thus advertisers haven’t had access to audience and ROI metrics consistently across platforms,” said Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at Nielsen. “The expansion of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings hopes to address this previously unmet need and enable advertisers to evaluate campaign success across TV, PC, mobile and smartphone holistically.”

As consumers become increasingly device agnostic, measurement platforms need to follow suit. As Nielsen’s president of global product leadership Steve Hasker somewhat confidently predicted in a chat with AdExchanger back in May: “In a couple of years, you will see marketers using the OCR system to measure media no matter where it goes.”

“No matter where it goes” for Nielsen today now includes ratings for video and display ads across iOS and Android apps, as well as mobile browsers. Adding the mobile component to Nielsen OCR should enable marketers to determine specific device reach, as in whether consumers viewed an ad on a PC, via mobile, or in both places — a particular pain point for advertisers looking to optimize their cross-channel spend and analyze and compare the effectiveness of various platforms.

It’s about the “big picture,” Beard said. In other words, giving advertisers an understanding of their full digital audience in a manner comparable with what Nielsen offers TV-wise.

“As advertisers put together omnichannel approaches to reaching consumers, they’ll have not just a more accurate picture of how they’re connecting with consumers, but a better sense of the return on their investment in doing so,” he said.

With more effective mobile measurement capabilities in place, Beard predicts that advertisers will feel comfortable spending more in mobile and video channels.

“Content is available in a myriad of ways, and instead of viewers ‘moving’ from one platform to the other, we see viewers making more time to consumer the best content across screens,” Beard said. “Ad dollars are likely to follow the same path. Where the viewers are, the ad dollars will follow.”

Several large media sellers, among them big players like, BrightRoll, Drawbridge, Freewheel, Liverail, Tremor Video, and TubeMogul, have already opted in to use OCR to measure mobile on their sites.

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