Previously, Viacom had set a goal to grow non-Nielsen-dependent ad revenues to 50% in three years.
Philippe Dauman, president/chief executive officer of Viacom, told analysts on Thursday: “When we talk about a three-year time frame to make a major step shift from 30% [today] to 50%, we’re into the first year of that three-year cycle. We’re seeing results where we’ve got people knocking on the door wanting to hear about it, use it.”
Viacom -- like other traditional media sellers -- is looking to move away from traditional program/spot inventory to audience-based measurement, with a host of data-driven tools they are making available to marketers.
Separately, Viacom has started doing upfront deals -- but mostly for its kids TV platform, Nickelodeon. Dauman said: “The market looks to be strong; we’re very confident going to the upfront season. By the way, we’ve already written about 30% of our upfront business in one form or another.”
Dauman prefaced this comment by saying: “For us, as you know, the issue has been the supply of Nielsen ratings, and we are working very hard to modify the equation.”
With regard to the upfront, Dauman didn’t go into pricing or other details, only saying “we have a strong kids portfolio within our family and a lot of that business gets written early.”
Analysts believe the kids TV upfront market -- like other upfront markets -- will be a slow-moving affair with weak-to-slightly-lower dollar volume. Last season, the total kids TV marketplace pulled in around $1 billion, with about $500 million coming in upfront sales.