Kelly Abcarian came to NBCUniversal in 2021 after years of leading innovation at Nielsen’s media measurement business. In short order, she was leading innovation in measurement for the media industry in a very different way.
NBCU’s executive VP of measurement and impact issued a broadside calling for measurement independence from her old employer and launched a request for information for its measurement and analytics competitors that ultimately pulled in more than 150 companies. Abcarian made the results available to the industry in a Lookbook, and she’s brought in alternative measurement firms including iSpot.tv and VideoAmp, incorporating Nielsen rivals into 40% of last year’s upfront deals. And she assembled a Currency Council that included representation across six agency holding companies and several major marketers to start trading on new currencies starting this year.
It's quite a track record in two years for an industry not generally known for breakneck speed. And while she’s ruffled some feathers in the process, Abcarian also sees progress that justifies the work.
“Data and technology are changing so fast,” Abcarian said. “And consumers are moving faster than ever before.” The effort, including the measurement framework and Lookbook, was “a massive test and learn to help educate the marketplace and partner with clients to usher change. Because transforming this industry will take real collaboration.”