A truly independent service would surely allude to what we have now -- a third-party service, not one that is “housed” at one major TV network/media company.
NBCU’s efforts are understandable -- even without any references to the slip-ups Nielsen made during the COVID-19 pandemic period. They want to take care of its business. They don’t have any time to waste.
But it really speaks to a future where a modernizing TV business can compete far better in the digital media world -- one that shows no slowdown against major players like Google and Facebook, where millions of U.S. local business can point to specific business outcome improvements.
Can NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, Walt Disney, Fox Corp. and a forthcoming Warner Bros. Discovery talk up the same in terms of a marketers’ returns on media investment?
Those legacy TV companies would say: “Yes. We've got stuff to show you.” But can that data be easily analyzed against the exact same parameters of other media companies advertising targeting and reporting metrics? Or independent third parties, for that matter? Hmm.. Not so much. And there’s the rub.
Although NBCU has not said whether its “independence” plan would be open to all media sellers, it did mention the need for a “global currency.” (Ah hah!)
So, NBCU -- if you, in plain language, suck in certain programming, advertising engagement, business outcomes numbers versus your competitors, you won’t mind saying so? Well, that’s not how media-sales operations -- or any sales operations for that matter -- work.
So we get back to the need for a currency. To do that, one needs cooperation for all parties involved. And we know how easy that can be.
In the past, we have seen new U.S. media measurement efforts try -- and fail -- to replace the current system we have.
Some names to consider in reference to joint efforts, trials, companies pursuing Nielsen alternatives: SMART (Systems for Measuring and Reporting Television) ARF JIC (Joint Industry Committee),ScanAmerica, AGB and R.D. Percy.
We see the need for a globally currency -- at least in the near term.
But ask yourself: Do Google and Facebook need a global currency? Other digital media? Maybe somewhere down the road they might, when soaring revenue growth slows down for major digital players.
But by that time, those companies might have a different global definition for global currency.