Television

Neilsen announces ‘Impressions-First Initiative’ for cross-platform measurement

To integrate broadband-only homes into local measurement in January 2022.

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Mumbai: Nielsen has announced that it will take the lead on an 'Impressions-First Initiative' to support an industry-wide move to impressions-based buying and selling in local markets across the US. The move to impressions will occur in conjunction with the integration of broadband-only (BBO) homes into Nielsen’s local measurement metrics in January 2022, said the global market information & measurement company on Tuesday.

According to a statement, migration to an impressions-based currency will deliver a more complete, precise and representative audience measurement, along with the added benefit of enabling cross-platform audience measurement.

"In today’s fragmented media landscape, the shift to impressions lays the groundwork for implementing Nielsen One across local, national, and digital measurement. The inclusion of BBO homes will enable the industry to rapidly transition to trading on impressions. Impressions represent all viewers regardless of platform—which is especially important given the significant and growing penetration of BBO homes in local markets," the company said.

For more than two years, Nielsen has been working with the media and advertising industries in preparation for the inclusion of BBO homes in local TV measurement for its 56 LPM and set meter markets.

“Nielsen is committed to measuring all audiences and the complete video consumption across the local marketplace,” said Nielsen CEO David Kenny. “Impressions are the great equaliser across all screens, programs, listeners and viewers. Nielsen’s move to prioritise reporting impressions will help standardise the way it measures ads and content, enabling greater comparability across national, local and digital and is in line with Nielsen’s initiative to drive comparable metrics which are foundational to Nielsen One.”

Nielsen, which had previously announced a BBO implementation date of October 2021, made the final decision to begin implementation in January 2022 in response to industry requests. The TV measurement company had been facing criticism from the Video Advertising Bureau (trade organisation representing the advertising sales departments of networks and distributors) over the accuracy of its ratings, following which the Media Ratings Council (MRC) had suspended its accreditation for national and local TV ratings service in September.

The new timing will enable the rating company to publish an official BBO UE that will be audited and reviewed by the MRC. In addition to delivering one month of impact data, a January implementation will include all BBO homes. Adding BBO homes will increase reporting sample sizes significantly and capture impressions that may be missing, especially for sports and OTT content.

Concurrent with Nielsen’s support of an industry-wide move from ratings to impressions in January 2022, the company will default its local reporting settings to impressions in its software systems (Arianna, NLTV, eVip) and will lead with impressions in all of its external communications. Ratings will remain available to end-users for planning purposes. 

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