NBC Steps Forward In Data-Driven World

NBC is setting aside $1 billion in inventoryfor “alternative audience guarantees.”  But is it 'all in'?

Nope. That $1 billion is just 20% of its entire portfolio, according to reports -- which, per the network, is more than double the level it offered a year ago, that is “data-driven inventory.”

Why not at least a majority of its TV and/or digital media inventory ?

For many TV media sellers, it gets back to the old worry -- placing the “commodity” descriptor on TV programming. No one wants to be in the commodity business -- where TV, or even digital inventory, inventory can be bid down to the lowest price.

Traditional TV sellers continue to be pushed the digital media world -- even with all its issues around viewability, ad fraud, bot and general measurement concerns.

In the digital world, NBC -- and other traditional TV networks --- like the idea of using the word “premium” in all their press missives; it separates their content from lessor digital media video content.



But much as it cedes to marketers growing wishes, NBC wants to control pricing and “its” business guarantees. TV networks ultimately want flexibility.

So if 20% of NBC inventory will be guaranteed by alternative business ROI metrics, we imagine the rest will still be pegged to the now 10-year old C3 ratings -- the average commercial ratings plus three days of time shifting --- or its extension, C7.

NBC isn’t alone. Viacom, Discovery, Fox, and Turner are also pushing for new kinds of data-driven business guarantees. But the questions going forward: How much of their respective total inventory supplies will be committed? What specific TV shows, dayparts, or digital inventory will be included?

Much of this might not have any consequence for this year’s upfront market -- but next upfront could see some major shifts.

Not to be forgotten, NBC announcement comes after some much-heated and public criticism of Nielsen in regards to its Total Audience/Total Content Ratings cross-platform efforts -- which the measurement company hopes the industry will adopt as the basis of a new TV currency that would replace C3/C7 metrics.

Ironically, Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, comments to Television Daily News, Nielsen will, no doubt, be a part of its selling process.

“‘Big data’ household set usage indices, against product buyers as add-ons to Nielsen ratings... will, in most cases, position the network's shows in a seemingly more favorable light than viewer ratings.”

But not for everything -- still only a small piece of its “premium” inventory.

All of which begs another question: Does NBC have any non-premium inventory for sale?

1 comment about "NBC Steps Forward In Data-Driven World".
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  1. Eric Fischer from HJA Strategic Consulting, March 3, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

    It's a "nice" step, and NBCU should be commended for pushing the envelope a bit. Ultimately it's a way for them to charge higher CPMs for the same inventory.  At the end of the day, media vendors are still selling impressions, and only utlimately accountable for delivering those numbers of impression, regardless of whether they had any imapct on the client's actual business resutls.  Real solutions will only come from having vendors be accoutnable for actual client KPIs.

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