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TV Measurement Drama Leaks Out At The NewFronts

Business figures making a presentation with city background

For those tuning in to the NewFronts presentations virtually this week, there’s a live chat function to the right of the video player.

Some of the comments that popped up were pretty amusing.

For the win: “Is it me or does it feel that at least 50% of everyone’s script has been written by ChatGPT.”

It’s funny, because it’s true. The entire purpose of the NewFronts, just like the TV-focused upfronts, is to serve as a dog-and-pony show for digital publishers to brag about their content, their audience reach and their “innovative” advertising tools.

Look at me!

Amazon bragged about its average monthly US audience of 155 million people across ad-supported streaming.

Snap touted new exclusive content partnerships for the Women’s World Cup in July.

And NBCU introduced four new ad formats, including Must ShopTV, which allows viewers to buy products featured in Peacock content.

Razzle-dazzle, etcetera.

But the most interesting nuggets that came out of these presentations were candid moments that reflected the debate raging between broadcasters, ad buyers and alternative measurement providers looking to dethrone Nielsen.

Snide asides


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On Monday, Amazon announced that advertisers can now use iSpot and VideoAmp to measure cross-screen impressions and reach, including for out-of-home campaigns and local television stations.

And, during its presentation on Tuesday, Peacock made barbed and thinly veiled references to toppling Nielsen’s long-held incumbency.

“This industry, I hope you agree, needs more measurement options that meet your needs,” said Krishan Bhatia, NBCU’s president and chief business officer. “Which is why we also support the joint industry committee, along with 16 members across leading agencies, programmers and platforms – join the movement.”

The JIC was formed earlier this year to create video currency standards for audience measurement.

Last week, Nielsen sent an open letter to OpenAP, the TV advertising data platform that spearheads the JIC, to say it doesn’t plan to join anytime soon.

So, forget Real Housewives, Vanderpump Rules, the next season of Bel-Air and whatever flashy content publishers are boasting about during their sales pitches.

With the upfronts kicking off in earnest over the next few weeks, buyers, sellers and industry watchers will have more than enough measurement drama on their hands.

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