NBCU Claims 40% Of Upfront Based On Nontraditional Guarantees

NBCUniversal says 40% of its mostly completed upfront TV ad deals are using measures outside traditional age and gender guarantees.

Laura Molen, president, ad sales & partnerships at NBCU, in a press conference said this has come from different measurement/platforms --- Adsmart, NBCU’s advanced advertising unit; Open AP, the supply-side advanced advertising consortium; and iSpot.tv, the cross-platform TV measurement and analytics firm, “just to name a few.”But she adds that “for all the currencies and complexities right now, very few are unifying them for our business.”

Molen says iSpot.tv is one company that unifies cross-platform -- a 10-year-old firm that many advertisers have used for cross-platform TV and over-the-top (OTT) measurement. It is NBC’s first “certified” cross-platform research source.



In related news, NBCU says it recently completed a three-month “test and learn” effort with 67 marketers -- which analyzed cross-platform linear TV/OTT-streaming campaigns of 158 brands using the iSpot.tv platform.

Overall, NBCU said, those marketers ultimately under-utilized OTT buying -- averaging just 9% of total impressions from media deals on NBCU OTT platforms (primarily Peacock), and 91% of impressions on NBCU’s linear TV platforms.

“The streaming potential has yet to be realized,” says Kelly Abcarian, executive vice president of measurement & impact, advertising & partnerships, NBCU. “What we found was that the brands with a much richer OTT mix did better. They had higher overall OTT reach and acceptable frequency levels.”

She says NBC believes optimal impression weight for OTT and streaming platforms should be 30% to 40% of total impressions.

Advertisers are investing below these levels for two key reasons: Because measurement today does not allow to unify audiences at scale across all publisher end points, and due to ongoing challenges in managing frequency, she says, adding: “Advertisers need not just to achieve the right frequency but getting the right balance.”

Abcarian says those 67 marketers-- 158 brands from 12 categories -- averaged a total of 546 million average impressions per brand. But only 49 million came from OTT platforms -- offering a modest 5.2% ‘OTT-only reach’ -- a key measure for marketers.

NBCU says around the 200 million OTT impressions mark would have been better. Still, Abcarian cautions that this is a general recommendation.

Seven brands of the more aggressive users in the NBC test -- which it calls “pioneers” -- average 239 million OTT impressions, where the average frequency was 5.9. The strong result was that “OTT only reach” was a big 14.3% -- or a 30% share of person 18 years and older impressions.

She says marketers were able to get mid-flight data -- within 48 hours, to help them shift media to adjust to their needs to reach better return on investment data.

Looking ahead -- just two short years from now -- the market will have a different look -- especially for NBCU. Abcarian says: “By 2024, we will have 100% new currencies.”

2 comments about "NBCU Claims 40% Of Upfront Based On Nontraditional Guarantees".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 20, 2022 at 9:07 a.m.

    Wayne, your headline suggests that 40% of  NBCU's upfront sales did not use Nielsen as the audience guarantee base but some other data was utilized instead. That's what I gleen from the word "based". In fact, it appears that almost all upfront deals start with Nielsen for the eye ball counting and some use additional metrics---and sources--- in various ways, but usually for information other than "audience".

    As for why advertisers are "underspending" in OTT, while  poor audience data is one reason, there are others, including reach issues, pretty hefty CPMs, recent findings to the effect that ad attentiveness is not as high as claimed, fraud, bad commercial scheduling practices, etc. While OTT has many positive values to offer  it badly needs to clean up its act and become ad-friendly, with all sellers operating in the same manner.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 20, 2022 at 9:41 a.m.

    Just to be clear, Wayne, I'm not blaming you for using the word "based"---that comes from NBCU, I assume, and that's why I posted my comment. It's  misleading.

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