David Kenny Calls Nielsen The Only Company That Can Deliver Cross Platform Currency

(Image credit: Nielsen)

Nielsen, facing unprecedented challenges to its media measurement business, reported higher third quarter profit and revenues Thursday.

The company has sold off businesses to focus on measurement and is gearing up for a new system designed to count viewers on all screens in a consistent and comparable way. But during the pandemic, Nielsen was found to have undercounted TV viewing and lost the Media Rating Council’s accreditation of its national ratings service.

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“The media ecosystem is undergoing significant change as viewing accelerates to streaming. We are making strong progress advancing the development of Nielsen One, our cross-media measurement solution, to provide the market with comparable metrics across streaming and TV. We are building on our strong foundation in linear and digital, we have a clear timeline leading up to the launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, and we are delivering on interim milestones as planned,” said CEO David Kenny. “We believe that Nielsen is the only company positioned to deliver effectively on the promise of representative, currency-grade cross-platform measurement that is essential to the industry.”

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On Nielsen's earnings call with analysts, Kenny called getting re-accreditied a top priority. He said Nielsen plans panel is back up to 40,000 and is on track to hit its goal of 41,600 by the first quarter of 2022, when Nielsen One is expected to be ready to roll.

Kenny also said that Nielsen's streaming panel was up to 18,0000 homes monitoring 17 platforms.

Third quarter net income rose to $100 million, or 28 cents a share, from $7 million, or 2 cents a share a year ago. Earlier this year, Nielsen sold off its troubled Nielsen connect business. Net income from continuing operations rose to $120 million from $102 million.

Revenue rose 5.5% to $882 million.

Audience measurement revenue increased 3.9% to $637 million. Outcomes and content revenue grew 9.9% to $245 million.

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Based on the company’s performance so far, it updated its full-year guidance, projecting that revenue will be up 3% to 3.25%, compared to its earlier estimate of 2.5% to 3%. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to be $1.65 to $1.70, up from $1.54 to $1.61.

“We are pleased with our strong third quarter results, building on our track record of execution and demonstrating continued progress on our strategic growth plan. In Audience Measurement, clients see the value in our enhanced and expanded products, and it is driving strong performance across national media and digital-first clients," said Kenny.

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.