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Dauman: Viacom on Track to Non-Nielsen Revenue

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said efforts to create new measurement metrics to better track viewership for its younger-skewing networks are taking hold, and the programming giant is well on the way toward increasing its non-Nielsen derived revenue from 30% to more than 50% in the next three years.

Dauman has been an outspoken critic of Nielsen and the sample method of audience measurement and said the company is moving forward with products like Viacom Vantage, which track viewership across multiple platforms.

But that consumption “ties into a measurement problem,” Dauman said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Boston. “A lot of our programming is being viewed on devices not currently measured under the Nielsen system, which is why we are moving toward creating a different kind of currency.”

He added that more and more ad dollars are being pumped into non-Nielsen areas – he said they are on track to reaching their 50% non-Nielsen goal – and used Comedy Central hit Broad City as an example. Currently in its second season, Broad City is ironically attracting higher Nielsen ratings, but is “exploding” on digital platforms and social media.

“We need to do more of that with the part of our different partners; improve measurement of what’s going on and improve the value of these shows for our marketing partners,” Dauman said, adding that efforts like Viacom Vantage, Viacom Echo and Viacom Velocity helps capture that viewership.

“These are very valuable, hard to reach audiences that we reach very effectively,” Dauman said.

Dauman said Nielsen also is working with the programmer and realizes that measurement needs to change to fit evolving audience habits. He said the measurement giant is experimenting with larger sample sizes and meshing sample data with other databases.

“Our objective is to have the entire ecosystem improve,” Dauman said.

Dauman said Viacom’s plans to increase its original programming are moving ahead – Nickelodeon is increasing its original output by about 40% and at MTV, scripted series like Scream, The Shannara Chronicles and others are being added to the lineup.