Losing Media Rating Council accreditation and getting bad press about its flaws and competitive threats hasn’t hurt Nielsen one bit financially, based on results released Thursday.
Nielsen executives reported that third-quarter revenue beat forecasts, agency and media contract renewals are strong and progress on next-generation TV measurement system Nielsen One is on track for a late 2022 rollout. The company raised full-year revenue and earnings guidance.
“We’re not getting distracted by external noise,” CEO David Kenny said on an earnings call.
While acknowledging missteps for Nielsen’s TV ratings panel due to pandemic workarounds, he said panel size is already back up to its pre-pandemic size of around 40,000 households (from a low close to 30,000) and set to reach its goal of 41,600 homes by early next year.
Nielsen reported quarterly revenue up 5.5% to $882 million. The gain was an even stronger 6.6% gain excluding currency, acquisition and divestiture effects. Audience measurement – the primary area where Nielsen’s accreditation troubles would have an impact – rose 4.4% organically, while outcomes and content measurement revenue soared 12.5% organically. Net income from continuing operations rose 18.2% to $117 million.
Kenny and other Nielsen executives delved deeper than usual with analysts on measurement issues, arguing that the “noise” about emerging competition was just that.
Potential competitors “claim that they can use individual-level information from other big data sources, but big data has flaws and biases,” Kenny said. “It lacks rich details about who the people are and under-represent diverse populations and certain age groups.”