ABC Expands Guarantees, Media Buying Cross-Platform

Watch-tv-AB1Looking to finally broaden the way advertisers get TV viewer guarantees, three Disney-ABC networks have adopted a new system. It uses Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings and traditional C3 rating measurement delivering a single audience guarantee across TV, computers, tablets, or phones.

Three Disney-ABC networks -- ABC, ABC Family, ESPN -- will allow marketers to buy content across TV, computers, tablets and phones with a single demographic audience guarantee. Because of ESPN's live sports and news coverage, the sports network will use a slightly different version of ABC Unified.

Geri Wang, president of advertising sales for ABC network, said: "Measuring online and on-demand video audiences is complex and finding an approach that balances the existing TV business and emerging ‘screen agnostic’ world is increasingly important.”

Nielsen will use Facebook to get viewing estimates of specific online demographic groups. TV research executives have long said this has been the sticking point when considering the single measurement approach that combined online, digital and traditional TV viewing.

Brad Adgate, senior vice president and corporate research director for Horizon Media, said: "With the number of streams growing and ad dollars migrated to online video, it makes sense that the combined audience can be measured." He predicts that advertisers will support this initiative and other networks will follow.

Since 2007, national TV networks have used average live commercial ratings and three days of TV time-shifting (C3) from Nielsen to provide advertisers with viewership guarantees.

In the past, some networks have looked to other metrics to cobble together traditional TV and online and/or digital viewing. The CW has done some of this for TV advertisers over the last several years. Turner Broadcasting has seen some initial but limited data when combining online viewing with traditional viewing when using Nielsen's Extended Screen service, based on data collected from laptop/desktops through Nielsen's traditional TV sample of 20,000 homes.

Last year, ABC and Nielsen said it would develop a custom tablet measurement panel and consumer insights connecting media exposure with purchase behavior.

Nielsen says its Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings is the first Internet measurement system that provides demographic ratings for online advertising campaigns of any size with certain metrics comparable to those used for TV advertising to be accredited by the MRC.

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