Allen Media Group’s The Weather Channel completed this year’s upfront entirely using VideoAmp currency, making it the first media company to achieve full acceptance of the Nielsen rival for trading, the company announced today.
The Weather Channel strikes upfront deals entirely on Nielsen alternative
“The Weather Channel is very proud to be the first network to transition to VideoAmp, proving that reliable big data measurement is the future of the television industry,” said Byron Allen, founder and chairman-CEO of Allen Media Group, in a statement. “We made the move at the start of the upfronts because our clients deserve much stronger data. VideoAmp allows us to better serve our clients by showing the efficacy and return on investment our audiences and content deliver.”
The size of the upfront was not disclosed. The Weather Channel had nearly $181 million in advertising revenue in the last year, according to data from VideoAmp rival iSpot.tv.
As of last month, more than $1 billion of upfront deals had been written overall on VideoAmp, said the company’s Founder and CEO Ross McCray. Although that’s a milestone for VideoAmp, it is still a small fraction of the U.S. TV market with an estimated $86 billion in overall spending, $61 billion of it on linear TV, with deals mostly written on Nielsen currency.
“The Weather Channel moving its entire upfront to VideoAmp currency is a massive testament to their commitment of increasing the value of media for their advertiser clients and viewers," McCray said in a statement.
Allen and McCray announced their currency deal at Cannes earlier this year. It follows years of conflict between Allen and Nielsen, including two pending lawsuits that Allen has brought against the measurement company. Allen has alleged Nielsen committed fraud by claiming it could accurately measure their TV networks when it really couldn’t.
Today’s announcement indicates Allen and VideoAmp got a wide swath of agencies on board with trading on the new currency, though some agency executives at the time were privately less than enthusiastic about the prospect. Overall, more than 900 brands have advertised on The Weather Channel over the last year, per iSpot.
Horizon Media was not one of the reluctant ones. “We fully support The Weather Channel’s move to VideoAmp as their primary currency and being able to demonstrate to our clients the improvement of measurement and efficacy against their media campaigns,” said David Campanelli, executive VP and chief investment officer of Horizon, in a statement.