Nielsen In Final Tests Of Mobile Ad Measurement Service

Nielsen on Thursday said it’s launching the final technical trial before expanding Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) service to mobile this summer. Participating in the test are online video ad firms BrightRoll and TubeMogul, which have both been in using OCR on a fully-integrated basis for the past 18 months.
The Nielsen service aims to provide a common measurement currency to track reach, frequency and GRPs across screens, especially for video. While OCR has already been adopted by major sites such as YouTube for digital video measurement on the desktop, mobile validation is still emerging.
To track mobile devices, Nielsen said it would take a similar approach to the way it measures computer and tablet browsers. That methodology combines its cross-platform homes panel with data from third-party providers to measure all ads, including video and display.
Besides mobile browsers, the latest test will explicitly measure in-app ads for the iOS and Android app eco-system. Other clients, including ABC, have participated in earlier technical trials. Following completion of the mobile trial, Nielsen plans to release the expanded version of OCR in the third quarter.
“Cross-screen audience measurement is critical for advertisers to leverage the trend of increasing mobile video consumption,” said Jason Lopatecki, chief strategy officer, at TubeMogul, in a statement. The U.S. mobile video audience topped 100 million people in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from 80.7 million a year ago, according to Nielsen’s latest cross-screen report.
Average time spent per user in mobile video increased 23% to one hour, 23 minutes per month -- but still trailed well behind that of other media traditional TV is still easily the biggest time sink for Americans, at 155.32 a month, roughly the same as a year ago.
Nielsen said the 2014-2015 TV season will mark the first time that mobile video viewing is folded into C3, the rating used by the industry to buy and sell TV advertising. In March, the company expanded its measurement capability to include TV programming available online through the launch of Nielsen Digital Program Ratings.

The Nielsen announcement comes a day after comScore unveiled the extension of its rival validated Campaign Essentials (vCE) measurement offering to mobile. The new vCE Mobile and vME (validated Media Essentials) Mobile services promise to provide the same performance metrics for smartphones and tablets as used for desktop campaigns to streamline media planning and buying.

After initial testing of the capability with data partners and clients, comScore is rolling out the new mobile products as part of a charter program.

"Smartphone User" photo from Shutterstock.
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