Cable and Broadcast

TV Looks Beyond Nielsen Metrics to Strike Deals

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TV this upfront season is starting to do business without relying on traditional Nielsen metrics. Turner Broadcasting has been ambitious with its data products outside of helping its own clients make more efficient and targeted TV ad buys.

Nearly every TV network group is testing some sort of data product that allows marketers to set guarantees on more specific targets than the age and sex demographics they have traditionally relied on. But thus far these tests, including Turner's, have been small due to the limited inventory available to buy and lack of consistency from one network group to the next. Each product uses different data sets and is powered by various technology. This makes data-driven TV buys increasingly complicated.

During this year's upfront ad haggle Comcast's NBC Universal is offering certain marketers the opportunity to buy audiences against more specific data points beyond age and gender. Through its Audience Targeting Platform, NBCU will fully guarantee targeted delivery of highly specified audiences, such as households with an income over $100,000 and a car lease set to expire in six months, for example. Just as it does with Nielsen metrics, NBCU will offer makegoods for any shortfalls.

NBCU will use varying data sets based upon the clients' needs, including data from Comcast set-top boxes, first-party data from its own sites like Fandango and third-party resources. Marketers will be able to apply that data in both national linear TV and for household-level targeting in video on demand.

Fox Networks Group announced last month that it will do some deals during the upfronts that don't rely on Nielsen. Turner has also been offering marketers the ability to set guarantees beyond Nielsen through its AudienceNow product.

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