Google Doubles Down On Nielsen, Brings Ratings Into DoubleClick

Following months of testing, Google is upgrading Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings from an experiment to a bona fide form of trading currency across its operations. While the deals are not exclusive -- Google will continue to offer comScore’s vCE ratings to advertisers and agencies that want to conduct business on that data -- the new agreements will enable Google to guarantee video advertising buys utilizing the currency of the buyer’s choice.

As part of the agreements, which were struck last month, Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings will also be integrated into Google’s ad-serving platform DoubleClick. Google is currently “co-developing” systems for integrating both Nielsen’s OCR and comScore’s vCE ratings into DoubleClick’s workflow systems. The collaborations, which are separate, both are expected to be completed this year, according to executives who are familiar with the terms of those deals.

In the near term, the agreements enable Google to negotiate video audience delivery guarantees using either Nielsen’s or comScore’s data beginning in May, when it is expected to begin cutting upfront or “newfront” deals with advertisers and agencies for its premium online video programming content.

While the agreements give advertisers and agencies greater flexibility on the source of their audience delivery estimates, they also represent an opportunity for marketplace confusion on an order that has not been seen by Madison Avenue since Arbitron competed with Nielsen in the local TV audience ratings business.

For Nielsen, the moves are an important step toward its measurement and integration of audience ratings across multiple screens -- including TV, online, and mobile -- and the company has been separately developing new cross-platform ratings, dubbed XCR with hopes of becoming a gold standard for measuring the reach of advertising buys across screens.

"We have extended our relationship with Google, committing to integrate Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings into DoubleClick and make Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings available to advertisers who qualify to buy Google’s new Preferred Video Lineups,” confirms a Nielsen spokesperson, adding: “This development underscores our unique ability to deliver meaningful cross-platform insights to clients and the momentum of our efforts to deliver independent measurement of advertising campaigns across distribution platforms.”
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