Viacom Move To Audience-Based Metrics Pays Off

Viacom says its three-year plan to grow “non-Nielsen” measurement-attached advertising revenues to half of all its ad activity is seeing steady results -- including some upfront activity.

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.

6 comments about "Viacom Move To Audience-Based Metrics Pays Off".
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  1. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., May 1, 2015 at 5:15 p.m.

    What does this mean?

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, May 1, 2015 at 7:47 p.m.


    Viacom Cuts 264 Employees in NYC to Help Save $250M

    Cable TV Giant Began Corporate Restructuring in February

    By Matthew Flamm. Published on March 24, 2015

  3. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, May 1, 2015 at 7:48 p.m.


    Viacom CEO Dauman Earns $44.3 Million in Total Compensation for Year

    For the Fiscal Year Ended Sept. 30, CEO Got 19.2% Raise


    KEACH HAGEY Jan. 23, 2015 

  4. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, May 1, 2015 at 7:57 p.m.

    Philippe Dauman:  Corporate Partner in Nielsen's Finanacial Progress?
    Viacom Research Department:  Corporate Albatross for Nielsen's Marketing Management?

    What do MediaDailyNews readers think?

  5. Ken Nicholas from VideoAmp, May 4, 2015 at 12:25 p.m.

    You are correct, @Ed...and very good point. The article's author doesn't really state any of that clearly, and even later on, references a comment on "...the supply of Nielsen ratings..."...? Kind of an odd statement for the Broadcast side, less so for the digital [i.e. OCR, or now DAR] metrics set. 

    But more than that, two other points:::

    • Are there any 'audience-based' measurement firms out there now, for Broadcast? Maybe Simulmedia, maybe Boxfish, or even Rentrak? Not sure.

    • Even so, wouldn't agencies/clients also want these 3rd-party verified?

    I'd say another article to clarify these items might be ideal. 

  6. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, May 4, 2015 at 2:31 p.m.

    It seems the consensus is that you have -- once again -- scratched the surface deeply.  And that's not fair to loyal MediaPost readers.  Do better.  Try harder.

    It can cause tangentially relevant (or is that 'relevant tangential') expressions like mine.

    To the point, if you read CJR, you'd have seen this telling observation on your work at times:

    "A dirty little secret of journalism has always been the degree to which some reporters rely on press releases and public relations offices as sources for stories. But recent newsroom cutbacks and increased pressure to churn out online news have given publicity operations even greater prominence in science coverage.”...

    Citing Charles Petit, a veteran science reporter ..., Christine Russell wrote further:

    "In some cases the line between news story and press release has become so blurred that reporters are using direct quotes from press releases in their stories without acknowledging the source. ...

    Petit called for transparency on the basis of professional ethics. That’s one very good reason to be transparent. But there’s also a practical consideration: avoiding embarrassment.

    Your audience expects transparency. Furthermore, if they catch you not being transparent, they will “out” you — probably in a very public, findable, documented, linkable, and not-fun way. This will not help your credibility. ...

    So if you’re quoting from anywhere, including a press release, DO cite your source and link back to it."


    Onwards & Upwards!
    Nicholas P. Schiavone
    Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC

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