Comcast’s advertising division said it has licensed viewing data from the set-top boxes in subscribers’ home to VideoAmp, one of the measurement companies looking to provide an alternative to Nielsen in the race to provide a cross-platform currency for buying and selling TV advertising.
VideoAmp uses big data from set-top boxes and smart TVs to estimate deduplicated audiences. Adding data from Comcast’s footprint should make VideoAmp’s product more stable and reliable, the companies said.
“We are thrilled to work with Comcast as a way to advance national and local media currency solutions. This furthers our mission of providing a new, software-based media currency that creates higher return on ad spending for advertisers and additional revenue for publishers,” said VideoAmp founder and CEO Ross McCray.
VideoAmp is working with Paramount, which is selling some of its national ad inventory using currencies based on VideoAmp data. WarnerMedia and Discovery have also announced they are testing currencies based on data from VideoAmp, Comscore and iSpot.tv.
The TV industry has accelerated its search for alternative measurement after Nielsen was found to have undercounted viewing during the pandemic. Nielsen also disclosed that it hadn’t been including some out-of-home viewing in its national ratings. Nielsen’s national ratings service lost its Media Rating Council accreditation. Its local ratings service isn’t accredited either.
VideoAmp and other data-driven companies have spring up to try to bring the industry alternative approaches to better capturing TV viewing at a time when video is being consumed on a myriad of platforms, services and devices.
“We’re very excited to support VideoAmp as they pioneer the next chapter of cross-platform audience measurement. This announcement marks a significant milestone in our journey to spur measurement innovation. Our ecosystem is stronger when brands and media owners can transact on multiple currencies and when such currencies exist for cross-platform measurement,” said Comcast Advertising president Marcien Jenckes.
Comcast did not say it would be using or testing VideoAmp currencies generated using Comcast's data.
VideoAmp is also working with five major media agency holding companies.
Media buyers said adding Comcast data would help VideoAmp.
“This is a really exciting time for alternative currency and the future of measurement within our industry," said Brad Stockton, senior VP, U.S. National Video Innovation at dentsu. “This partnership announcement sets the stage for even greater innovation and accuracy for advertisers to truly hold their media accountable. We look forward to continuing to see progress in this space, and are excited for this integration." ■
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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.