NBCUniversal has selected iSpot.tv as its first alternative cross-platform measurement currency, inking a multi-year deal with the company that is slated to include key measurement tests of both Super Bowl LVI and the Beijing Winter Olympics next month.
The highly anticipated announcement comes months after NBCUniversal first issued a sweeping request for proposals that saw dozens of measurement companies respond. The media behemoth is seeking measurement options that can work alongside Nielsen, the TV industry’s long-dominant measurement provider whose near-monopoly was jeopardized last year after an audit revealed it significantly undercounted ratings.
“This is not a shift away from one panel-based system to another, but a definitive step toward embracing the metrics brands already use to evaluate media companies,” said Kelly Abcarian, executive VP of measurement and impact at NBCUniversal.
Since declaring so-called “measurement independence” last summer, NBCU has been clear that it’s not angling to replace Nielsen, but rather complement it with a suite of interoperable measurement solutions. Its original RFP received somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 responses from hopefuls including Comscore, Conviva, VideoAmp and IBM with Watson AI, as well as from Nielsen itself.
“Our learnings from this partnership will help transform our measurement solutions as we head into the next upfront season, and bring advertisers more data that accurately reflects our audiences, their consumption habits and campaign impact,” said Abcarian.
The company will continue to select additional alternative measurement partners as they continue to be assessed and certified.
NBCUniversal’s new agreement with iSpot.tv is due to go into effect this fiscal quarter, and will track both program ratings and ads. Publicis Media has signed on as an inaugural partner to test the new measurement currency across NBCU’s One Platform ad offering. It’ll face two major tests early on: pilot projects to see how iSpot.tv will measure the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl, both of which are being broadcast on NBC next month.
With the iSpot.tv deal in place, marketers working with NBCUniversal will be privy to real-time data for linear and streaming viewing, and can access what the company is billing as “comprehensive reports on a next-day basis” that break down key metrics including ad impressions and linear and streaming overlap.