AOL Uses Nielsen Ratings, Peels Ad Dollars From TV

Heidi-Klum

AOL said it would employ a fledgling Nielsen ratings stream to offer TV-style guarantees on audience delivery for its video ads. The deals will be based on GRPs with audience demographics, not simply clicks or impressions.

Companies like AOL, YouTube and Yahoo are looking to leverage original content to peel away some ad dollars from the TV market and are set to conduct their version of an upfront market, branded as the NewFronts.

Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings seek to offer TV-type data within the online arena, offering buyers a chance to better compare the results of campaigns across platforms.

In the TV upfront, networks are increasingly looking to bundle on-air and online inventory. A network like CW with its younger audience is particularly active in the arena.

“With online video increasingly playing a role in traditional TV upfront buying and selling, consistent cross-platform metrics are becoming more and more critical to proving the true value of advertising on a site, in terms that are familiar to brand marketers,” stated Steve Hasker, a top Nielsen executive.

AOL will hold a NewFront upfront-type event April 24 in New York. Its original content includes “Heidi Klum on AOL” and “Moviefone’s Unscripted.” Some advertisers are skeptical that a NewFront will gain much scale, since there is a perception that even while there is some premium online inventory, it is not particularly limited in availability.

Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings launched last August and plans call for it to be launched in the U.K. later this year.

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