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Advertisers Mostly Dissatisfied With Media Measurement, Survey Finds

 measuring tape
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While Nielsen has been in the headlines for its problems counting TV viewers, advertisers aren’t satisfied with the way all media are measured, according to a new survey from Advertiser Perceptions.

Only 50% of advertisers were satisfied with the way paid social and paid search are measured, and those were the media that fared best in the study. 

Advertiser Perceptions

(Image credit: Advertiser Perceptions)

Just 42% of advertisers were satisfied with the way linear TV was measured. That was better than the 38% happy with the metrics for digital video, but not as good as the 47% who were satisfied with measurement of streaming TV, CTV and over-the-top video.

When you talk about linear TV, you’re talking about Nielsen, Stuart Schneiderman, senior VP/business intelligence at Advertiser Perceptions told Broadcasting+Cable.

“It’s been a long-standing dissatisfaction,” Schneiderman said.

This year, Nielsen was found to have undercounted TV viewing during the pandemic and had the accreditation of its national rating service suspended by the Media Rating Council. The VAB, the trade group representing networks, and NBCUniversal in particular, are publicly looking for better ways to measure the new video ecosystem.

Advertisers have the most trust in their own first-party data and less trust in third-party data. When it comes to TV, 59% of advertisers said they use third party partner data, but only 48% believe it is accurate.

Also Read: Nielsen’s David Kenny Fights Back After Accreditation Loss

The satisfaction numbers for linear TV and Nielsen could go down more, Schneiderman said, partly because of the noise emanating from the MRC, and partly because the increase in streaming is increasing the pressure on measurement systems. 

Another reason for unhappiness about measuring is the increasing cost advertisers are paying. Reducing the cost was one of the main things advertisers would want to improve about measurement. 

Advertisers would also like companies to do a better job of monitoring potential fraud in digital media.

Advertisers also have complaints about what’s being measured, particularly when it comes to digital video. They’re getting metrics like completed views, audience delivery, engagement, reach and frequency, but they want sales lift and brand lift.

“TV advertisers are clearer on what they want, because there’s less fundamental change in the medium even with streaming alternatives growing,” Schneiderman said. “The irony of digital video is that advertisers want faster, greater ROI, but they can’t get it if they aren’t measuring what matters most to them.”

Advertiser Perceptions in April interviewed 205 advertisers involved in the evaluation and purchase of advertising measurement for this study.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting + Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.