Nielsen and Adobe are teaming up to offer accurate, digital-audience metrics for online TV consumption and video: Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe. For media planners, advertisers and brands, this will finally provide a standardized system to measure digital video content, which has traditionally lacked alignment between site analytics and other measurement data. We should see more accurate audience data, which will help us understand who is watching what shows and, more important, on what devices.
Why is there a need?
Consumers have a variety of options when it comes to viewing content, and advertisers need to understand where their target is consuming TV. Do you ever think, “I watch a show on CBS”? No, you tend to think, “I watch ‘The Big Bang Theory.’” Consumers focus on the content because they have multiple devices to watch their favorite shows. Understanding this, Nielsen knows its current ratings system is outdated.
Why is it a big deal?
Each year, TV viewing on alternate devices grows exponentially — which means that the kind of data Nielsen and Adobe will provide can be extremely beneficial during media planning stages. By including tablets, smartphones and connected TVs in total consumption, we can better understand the target audience and reach them more effectively with optimized marketing campaigns. This is becoming more prevalent as we see more companies provide their own TV viewing platforms.
HBO announced plans to launch “over-the-top” subscription for consumers in 2015 and bypass cable companies, and CBS soon followed along with its “CBS All Access” pass. Viewing TV through a cable box set is not the only way to watch content anymore and should not be the only way to measure TV. Nielsen ratings currently measure limited platforms and, while ratings can decrease, it doesn’t necessarily mean the show is not performing across other devices.
What can marketers expect from this?
If it works, it’s a service marketers will be keen to get their hands on, as it will be the first comprehensive, cross-platform system that can measure TV online and video across desktop, smartphones, tablets, game consoles and over-the-top devices. With the data Nielsen acquires, marketers and media strategists can understand their target consumer consumption habits for their marketing campaign, purchase a mix of online and on-air media, and finally measure the results of those campaigns.
Keep expectations realistic!
Due to methodology and technical errors, the data we see won’t be 100 percent accurate — but neither is what planners are currently using. Nielsen’s new effort is encouraging for marketers because it’s a step in the right direction to bridge the measurement gap. Nielsen’s new service is expected to roll out in 2015 but media giants such as Starcom and Turner Broadcasting are already participating in a beta program. We’re excited to see the data when the service becomes public!
Nitya Polipalli - Media Coordinator