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Networks Increased Use of New Measurement Companies in Upfront

Sean Cunningham
Sean Cunningham (Image credit: Video Advertising Bureau)

New measurement providers got a workout in the upfront, eighty-five percent of the networks surveyed by the VAB said they increased their use or investment in alternate audience data providers.

Most deals continued to be done using Nielsen, but the networks and advertisers were aggressive in talking about trying out alternate services because of complaints about Nielsen undercounting viewers and losing its accreditation from the Media Rating Council.  

In their reports on upfront activity, the networks talked about making more deals based on metrics other than the traditional age-sex demographics.

In the VAB survey, the networks said that 175 advertisers were engaged with TV publishers in either using or testing new measurement options. The top advertiser categories interested in new metrics included automotive, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, quick service restaurants and pharmaceuticals.

The new measurement options were applied to linear TV, streaming, connected TV and over-the top.

“While many pre-Upfront indicators pointed to a potential win for marketers that were ready to dive into TV measurement options providing new highs in counting all ad screens and better calculating cross-platform dynamics, we also heard marketers ask for a post-Upfront usage tally of measurement optionality,” said VAB CEO Sean Cunningham. “Those tallied results reveal an ad marketplace embracing newer measurement options with escalating urgency, and the increased competition in all-screens/ cross-platform TV measurement is shaping up to be a bigger realized win for marketers searching for business and brand growth—sooner rather than later.” ■

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.