Securing A Single Media Currency Is Tricky

Creating a new media “currency” looks complex. It needs wide-reach, diverse companies signing on, and some historical tracking to gain overall acceptance.

If you want that Venti Cold Brew, it’s going to cost you around $5. This past year, Starbucks began taking cryptocurrency for payment. But cryptocurrency didn't start yesterday.

Comscore is among many that want to be the base for a new TV and media currency.

Bill Livek, CEO of Comscore, said during its recent earnings call, the company is in “discussions with national TV networks to use Comscore's measurement, as currency.” He said this follows up on separate measurement deals made with Fox Corp. and ViacomCBS “for traditional linear currency.”

Is this a branding exercise? Do media agencies and their major brand advertising clients now agree that deals -- based on Comscore data -- made with ViacomCBS and Fox are the currency for payment?



For Nielsen, it is starting up Nielsen One, a fully cross-platform measure to launch next year -- all in the hopes of establishing a new measure.
Not sure if “currency” will be in its marketing campaign.

NBCUniversal is now in the process of evaluating some 80 proposals among a host of major measurement services -- including current “currency” caretaker Nielsen. NBC says: “We believe our industry can build a new, global currency that reflects consumer behavior and values content.”

Right now, there is a certain degree of inertia to the past.

Although Nielsen made missteps during the COVID-19 pandemic via its lack of maintenance for its 40,000-home national TV panel -- as well as having its national TV ratings service accreditation suspended from the Media Rating Council -- marketers, media agencies, and TV networks haven’t immediately abandoned its service.

Nielsen says third-quarter revenue grew $5.5 to $882 million.

We are in a new age where return on investment measures -- in-store visits, website engagement, first-party integration and the rest -- have increasing importance.

The last major measurement/currency shift occurred in 2007 when Group M decided time-shifted viewing, using Nielsen new’s C3 metric -- the average commercial rating plus three days of time shifted viewing -- was part of media campaigns.

It had the backing of major TV advertisers at the media agency group. And that set the ball rolling for other agencies/brands to join in. All this occurred after a major push from broadcast networks to get time-shifted viewing data recognized.

That currency change initially resulted in a slight shift from the live program metric. Measures then expanded -- still based on Nielsen data -- to C7, C30 and in 2018, NBCU’s CFlight, which took into account a whole ad campaign, including some cross-platforms' digital video consumption.

For future changes, one needs context. Find some solid starting point. Cold brew, anyone?

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