Dentsu To Make Local TV Deals Using Comscore as Currency

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Media agency Dentsu said it will shift its local TV buying to a Comscore-based currency, which will allow it to make transaction based on advanced audiences in all 210 markets.

Dentsu media buying units include Carat, Dentsu X and iProspect. Dentsu reached an agreement to use Comscore for local TV measurement in February. 

Dentsu and Comscore will conduct test buys for two clients in top 10 local markets based on impressions delivered to advanced audiences. The audiences will be built using dentsu’s M1 platform. The buys will be planned and then go live in early 2023.

A bigger rollout across more markets is expected next year. All major broadcast stations in the markets and local cable inventory will also participate in these buys, Comscore and Dentsu said.

The TV business has been looking at alternatives to Nielsen, long the dominant player in the audience measurement business. Several companies using big data are vying to be used as currency for national buys; Comscore is the top challenger for local TV. 

“At Dentsu we pride ourselves on knowing people better than anyone else and have been at the forefront of unlocking new ways to create addressable, audience-first solutions across media environments. For too long, our local TV buyers have been unable to reap the benefits of advances in data-driven buying,” said Jennifer Hungerbuhler, executive VP, local & audio investment, Dentsu Media U.S. “As we look to what’s next in media, the scale and stability of Comscore’s local TV dataset, coupled with the power of Dentsu’s M1 audience intelligence platform, enable new opportunities for us to precisely transact on the audiences that matter most to our clients and drive value in every market.”

Comscore has been engaged in a two-year proof-of-concept project designed to test its ability to be used as a local buying currency. The test was led by Kathryn Roganti, senior VP, commercial at Comscore and Karine McMaster, VP, advanced media, local investment at Dentsu Media U.S.

“Comscore has a long history of innovating the way media is bought and sold, and we are proud to partner with Dentsu as they break new ground in the local media industry,” said Carol Hinnant, chief revenue officer, Comscore. “This test will demonstrate that advancements in how local media is transacted are not only possible but necessary.”  ■

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.