Omnicom Media Group is joining Discovery in using Comscore and VideoAmp data to test their services ahead of the upcoming TV upfront, the companies said, as momentum grows behind currency alternatives to Nielsen.
Discovery is one of several media players, including Fox Corp., Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS) and NBCUniversal to offer currency alternatives to Nielsen since last year. This deal has the added twist of backing from a major agency holding company and stated commitment from big clients—notably AT&T and State Farm—to join the test.
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The move comes as Discovery is about to become part of something much bigger—WarnerMedia Discovery—via a $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia expected to close next quarter.
Discovery executives said they’re in talks with additional agency groups, clients and measurement services to test Nielsen alternatives as well.
“I think this is long overdue,” said Jon Steinlauf, chief U.S. advertising sales officer of Discovery. “Targeting has become increasingly important as audiences continue to fragment. Hopefully, by the time we get to the real marketplace, get to the negotiation stage say in June, we’ll have some guarantee that isn’t Nielsen age and gender.”
'Year of tests'
“I think 2022 will be a year of tests and trials that will ultimately conclude with people saying, ‘You know, it’s time to really move this industry forward,’” said Chris Ryan, senior VP of sales research for Discovery.
Work is already underway doing “lookbacks” using Comscore and VideoAmp data at fourth-quarter campaigns to evaluate how well those companies captured necessary data and how writing deals using that data would have affected things, said Christopher Ryan, senior VP of sales research for Discovery. Those lookbacks will help set the stage for “live” trials in this upfront.
An Omnicom spokeswoman, however, said OMG and its clients are not yet committed to writing any deals using Comscore or VideoAmp currencies in the coming upfront, and any deals will depend on the outcome of tests underway.