CNBC Retains Cogent For Daytime Ratings Measurement

Looking to make a more convincing argument about the scope and quality of its core daytime audience, CNBC will retain a new measurement service come the fourth quarter of 2015.

The NBCUniversal business-news network will make the move toward Cogent Reports, a unit of Market Strategies International, and away from Nielsen, a gambit that it believes will help capture and reflect the executive audience the network's Business Day programming draws in an out-of-home and business locations.  Nielsen, which has come under fire in many quarters for inaccuracies and a slow uptake into the growing world of mobile viewing, doesn't measure out-of-home watching. CNBC believes the switch to Cogent will facilitate proper measurement and underline the success of clients' campaigns aimed at its affluent viewers, wherever they may be.

“Throughout our 25 year history, traditional measurement companies have struggled to capture CNBC’s audience of business executives, decision makers and affluent investors who watch our network from their corner offices, trading floors, five-star hotel rooms, country clubs, restaurants and health clubs,” CNBC president Mark Hoffman said in a release. “We are excited to begin to provide our marketing partners with a more complete understanding of the power and quality of our prestigious audience.”

The switch also follows a year in which CNBC saw its audience from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. decline 13% to 177,000 total viewers from 204,000, and its adults 25-to-54 count decrease 7% to 39,000 from 42,000. The viewership and demo deliveries were the lowest for the finanical network since 1995 and 1992, respectively.

Cogent Reports surveys a broad, representative sample of financial advisors and other investment professionals who represent a key group within CNBC’s broader daytime audience, as well as affluent investors. CNBC said it will guarantee advertiser audience performance against the new Cogent-based metric, due to Nielsen’s limited ability to measure this highly valued out of home audience.

Each month, Cogent Reports continuously collects data via a survey-based measurement system that  trades on a representative sample of the financial advisor and affluent investor community on their media consumption behaviors and preferences and tracks financial brand engagement. Cogent Reports' base extends to 700 investors and 400 financial professionals each month.

“Accurately measuring Business Day’s total audience is one of our top priorities,” Linda Yaccarino, president of advertising sales at NBCUniversal, said in the release. “We all know that TV measurement continues to lag far behind rapidly changing consumer viewing trends and CNBC's viewers have always been under-reported through Nielsen’s in-home-only panel. Having these insights into the affluent and out-of-home viewers to whom CNBC is programming and the same group clients are trying to reach is an important step towards better campaign management and smarter programming decisions."

Nielsen responded thusly: "Nielsen has a long history of working with our clients to provide independent currency-based ratings upon which the industry can transact with confidence. For networks with niche audiences like CNBC, pure age and gender-based ratings are not always the best means against which to sell. These networks have always used alternative measures, which are provided by Nielsen as well as other insights and data providers in the market.”

CNBC will continue to use Nielsen in other dayparts, including primetime.