NBCU Selects iSpot.tv As 1st Cross-Platform Alternate Currency Partner

NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships has signed a multiyear deal making iSpot.tv the first certified cross-platform measurement partner for its One Platform.

Publicis Media will be the first media holding company to work with NBCU to test the new measurement across the One Platform, starting this quarter.

That means that this first “test and learn” initiative will span both the 2022 Winter Olympics and Super Bowl LVI.

The initial goals are to find industry-applicable solutions for three key advertiser needs: cross-platform view, speed and transparency, and accurate data.

As NBCU said when it launched its #MeasurementIndependence challenge last summer, the overall mission is to work across the industry to create a stack of interoperable solutions capable of accurately measuring behavior and impact across all screens. 



iSpot.tv — which was among the first companies to employ automatic content recognition (ACR) data from smart TVs to track impressions generated by TV ads — was one of 54 companies across six categories that received a request for proposal (RFP) from NBCU. The outreach resulted in nearly 100 responses that were evaluated by NBCU. 

NBCU was among the first networks to subscribe to iSpot.tv’s verified impressions data when iSpot became the first company to commercialize smart TV data in a measurement application in 2014. The two partnered again in 2018 to bring business-outcome TV measurement to market. 

In the new tests, iSpot will measure program and ad audiences, and feed NBCU advertisers with real-time airing data for linear, streaming and time-shifted viewing. Advertisers will receive comprehensive reports on a next-day basis that include metrics such as verified ad impressions, reach and frequency, linear and streaming overlap and incrementality, according to the companies. Measurement will be provided at the household level as well as at the person level for age/gender demos and/or for customized audience segments. 

Select NBCU advertisers will be given access to more granular data from iSpot and NBCU, such as attention and interruption rates, business-outcome reporting and creative performance, including pre-testing and brand-lift analysis.

iSpot.tv’s Ace Metrix product lets advertisers pre-test ad creative to gauge the brand impact, favorability, emotional response and effectiveness of messaging, and conduct in-flight analyses.

“Measurement must reflect the all-screen, one-video world consumers have created,” John Muszynski, chairman, Publicis Media Exchange U.S., stated in the announcement. “Through this test-and-learn across NBCUniversal’s One Platform, PMX will be able to provide its portfolio of brands more accurate, holistic approach to measurement that prioritizes performance and impact. The results of this partnership will serve as the blueprint for the marketplace to transact using improved measurement during the 2022-2023 upfront cycle.” 

“NBCU is leaning into giving advertisers what they want: fast, accurate and granular cross-platform measurement that proves the value of investments,” said Sean Muller, founder and CEO of iSpot.tv. “We applaud the work NBCU kicked off last year to accelerate the TV industry toward a more audience-centric, cross-screen and outcome-oriented framework that helps brands invest with confidence.” 

NBCU’s RFP also resulted in responses from legacy measurement companies including Nielsen, Comscore and DataPlusMath; streaming-oriented companies Conviva, Truthset, VideoAmp; and new measurement companies including IBM with Watson AI, Thinking Right, Reelgood, EntTelligence, RelishMix.   

NBCU continues to stress that it will share all learnings from the initiative with the entire industry. 

In today’s announcement, NBCU also took pains to stress that the actual numbers of measurement solutions and partners selected for the recommended stack remain to be determined. 

“NBCU will not be selecting just one company — rather a collection of measurement partners offering different pieces,” the company said. 

In addition, NBCU sought to downplay the industry perception that its alternate initiative was at least in part a response to the Media Rating Council’s suspension of accreditation of Nielsen’s national and local television services after Nielsen inaccurately reported viewership during the early pandemic months. 

Although the “alternate currency” language that’s been used at times by NBCU and similar initiatives — including ViacomCBS’ measurement testing with VideoAmp — NBCU said it’s “not looking to find a Nielsen replacement... That is too limiting and narrow a focus.” 

The measurement partners ultimately chosen “could include Nielsen, just working in concert with other measurement solutions,” the announcement said, adding in a “side note” that Nielsen “was among the first” to submit a proposal in response to the RFP. 

1 comment about "NBCU Selects iSpot.tv As 1st Cross-Platform Alternate Currency Partner".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 13, 2022 at 2:23 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see how this and other "tests" are conducted and, especially, how the findings are validated. Validation is the key ---otherwise all that is being tested is the ability of the systems to produce data. Validation---including comparisons of the findings with similar information from other sources---gives you a way of determining whether the findings are credible. Without that, where are you?

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