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Upfronts 2013: ABC Joins Nielsen Mobile Ratings Trial

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In an important move to offer better measurement of viewing TV programs on mobile devices, Nielsen and ABC have announced that the network will take part in Nielsen's trial to expand the Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings solution to mobile apps.

The Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings measurement system has been providing measurement for computers and tablet browsers. The new trial would significantly extend the solution's coverage into mobile apps for the first time.

Lack of good measurement on mobile devices has limited the amount of ad money spent on mobile devices even though these devices are being widely used by consumers to view video, and programmers are making significantly more content available on those devices.

On May 12 ABC announced that it is launching an ABC Watch app that will start making network, syndicated and local programming available to authenticated subscribers of multichannel providers who have inked TV Everywhere deals with the company, making improved measurement increasingly important for the network's ad sales efforts.

During ABC's Upfront presentation, Geri Wang,
president of sales, noted that "an increasing amount of our digital video viewing comes from apps on mobile devices, so the ability to understand who
sees ads is crucial for our business. Viewers have demonstrated that they want to watch ABC content everywhere they can, and that increasingly means on their smartphones and tablets. This trial with Nielsen is a significant next step in allowing us to help advertisers see the whole picture, and make our ABC Unified offering even more compelling."

The mobile expansion of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings combines the Nielsen Cross-Platform Homes panel with data from providers to measure all ads,
including video and display, within iOS and Android apps. The pilot runs through summer 2013.

As part of the Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings pilot
program, ABC will be able to measure audience demographics and understand the reach and frequency of online campaigns across ABC content on the web and in mobile apps, Nielsen noted in a release announcing the effort.

The trial was proceeded by extensive collaboration between Nielsen and the network. In 2012, ABC and Nielsen announced plans to work together on the development of a custom tablet measurement panel and consumer insights connecting media exposure with purchase behavior using Nielsen Buyer Insights.

Earlier this year ABC began comprehensive use of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to provide advertisers with metrics for their ABC Unified offering, which allows sponsors to make one buy across all screens.

"When we first launched Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings 18 months ago, we knew that it was the beginning of a market-moving shift in digital advertising," said Cheryl Idell, executive VP of client solutions for Nielsen, in a statement. "For the first time it enabled all parties to understand the audience of an ad campaign using metrics comparable to TV. In that period, mobile usage has skyrocketed and the need to extend our measurement has become clear. We are excited to be announcing this pilot and to collaborate with ABC once again to deliver high-powered, multiplatform insights
into the market."