Warner Bros. Discovery is starting the new year with a new ad currency.
The media giant has made a deal with VideoAmp, one of the measurement companies looking to provide an alternative to Nielsen.
The companies said Warner Bros. Discovery will use VideoAmp’s measurement and data capabilities to better represent its audiences for advertisers looking to transact on linear, streaming video and large digital and social media services through a unified cross-platform currency.
Warner Bros. Discovery said it is moving towards scaled adoption of multiple currencies by the 2023 upfront.
“Traditional media measurement has not kept pace with how consumers are engaging with streaming and linear content. As a result, these audiences have been undercounted and current measures no longer accurately reflect their true advertising value,” said Andrea Zapata, executive VP, head of ad sales research, measurement and insights at Warner Bros. Discovery. “We are gaining momentum as we act on our goals to offer best in class measurement capabilities and provide greater visibility into the return on ad spend across our award-winning IP.”
In 2021, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav was among the more outspoken media company execs when it was found that Nielsen was undercounting viewership during the pandemic by the Media Rating Council, which suspended the accreditation of Nielsen’s national ratings service.
“I don’t have a lot of hope for Nielsen,” Zaslav said. “I think somehow as an industry we’re going to have to work our way out of it from a technology perspective and leave them in the dust because they just can’t get it together. It’s a shame.”
Nielsen is about to launch Nielsen One, its new approach to measuring multi-platform ad campaigns. Nielsen was acquired last year by private-equity investors and has reorganized following the departure of several senior executives.
Last year, WarnerMedia -- now part of Warner Bros. Discovery -- announced that it was testing alternative currencies from measurement companies including VideoAmp.
Based on its testing, Warner Bros. Discovery said that brands will benefit from VideoAmp’s cross-platform, advanced audience and outcome measurement. Those capabilities are underpinned by co-mingled viewing data from set-top boxes and smart TVs.
Warner Bros. Discovery said a recent media delivery analysis that leveraged VideoAmp data showed that brands that took advantage of advertising with Warner Bros. Discovery in October achieved, on average, a 1.2 times greater reach per spot within the Warner Bros. Discovery Prime portfolio. The differential was even greater among affluent audiences (2.3 time higher reach per spot in households with household income over $100K).
“The industry needs a better way to measure and transact on audiences–one that accounts for cross-platform, supports both traditional and advanced audiences and provides attribution metrics in a manner that enables media sellers and buyers to unlock this potential and excel in a competitive environment,” said Ross McCray, CEO and founder, VideoAmp. “We are excited Warner Bros. Discovery is creating a more sophisticated marketplace and we’re looking forward to unlocking value for them and the industry as a whole.”
This deal includes VideoAmp providing a full measurement suite to Warner Bros. Discovery across the company’s TV networks and streaming properties. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The new data relationship between Warner Bros. Discovery and VideoAmp is a step forward in better third-party measurement for the industry. For Omnicom Media Group, it has the added benefit of aligning with our existing Omni Cross-Screen Insights capability and will help us close the loop for end-to-end planning through activation and measurement," said Ralph Pardo, CEO, Omnicom Media Group. ■
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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.
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