As Alternative Currencies Grow, Nielsen Finally Launches 'One'

Amidst a growing market of new alternative TV and media "currencies," Nielsen One -- the highly anticipated cross-platform measurement system from Nielsen -- will start up on January 11.

Nielsen says Nielsen One "Ads" will be "able to understand reach and frequency, deduplicated across linear TV, connected TV, desktop, and mobile" -- with the ultimate goal of letting publishers, TV networks, and media sellers show “strength” of their platforms and giving marketers the most efficient places to advertise, according to Nielsen.

Nielsen One Ads will offer "always on" metrics for digital campaigns and insights. In addition, Nielsen One will have a proprietary ID system as well as data from Nielsen’s panels.

Still, Nielsen One is a work in progress. Later this year, Nielsen One will also evolve to include advanced audience and outcomes measurement.



Also later in 2023, Nielsen will start Nielsen One "Content Alpha" for cross-platform, deduplicated and syndicated content data across devices, and more importantly, for many marketers and media buyers delivering a “view of aggregated program performance across distribution platforms.”

Nielsen -- the longtime de-facto leader in TV "currency" by which TV networks and platforms make deals with advertisers -- continues to face mounting criticism over its current services in delivering measurement media and advertising data, especially in a complex, expanding cross-platform media industry.

Nielsen One comes into a marketplace where major television, media network and platform companies have been offering new currencies to the marketplace for advertising deals from new measurement players including, VideoAmp and others.

Some media agency groups have signed on to tests with TV sellers to determine the value of these efforts.

14 comments about "As Alternative Currencies Grow, Nielsen Finally Launches 'One'".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 4, 2023 at 8:19 a.m.

    Wayne, none of the  "alternative" mesurements are being seriously considered as basic "audience currencies" that might be standardized across all buyers and sellers. Only Nielsen is in contention for that one and only role---providing it doesn't blunder when it's new service makes its debut.

    The so-called "alternative currencies" for national "TV" offer a variety of metrics that individual sellers are using in selected cases when it suits their basic sales purpose----selling more time and getting paid more for it. Which makes sense from a sales promotion standpoint.  But in every case I have heard about---and I may have missed a few----the basic "audience" part of the buy is based on Nielsen with the "alternative currency" as an add-on refinement, not a substitute.

    Whether this is a good thing is a matter of opinion. I believe that the use of many varying audience "currencies" with each seller selecting the one that shows it to best advantage instead of a single source like Nielsen, would lead to chaos and hurt all sellers----even if they were  not players in this game. I also believe  that the failure to include attentiveness measures in Nielsen's new service means that all we are getting is another "impressions" tally, albeit, with a much larger sample for device or set usage than before. But that's what the sellers want---big numbers---even if they do not tell us whether the ad messages are seen.

    The tragedy is that if advertisers realized how few people actually watch their commercials when they appear on a screen and what their real reach and frequency was they would probably increase their TV spending---not reduce  it---as "TV" remains their main mode of communication. Most believe that they have no other option but "TV". 

  2. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, January 4, 2023 at 1:56 p.m.

    Ed: Absolutely on-point as always. It appears the US industry is embracing the now infamous "alternative truths"!! No question that the so called "alternative currencies" are providing invaluable enhancements to any "basic" persons & panel based "audience currency" of which there can surely only be one as in Europe via the JICs. 
    But are US Advertisers listening?  If they are, I agree that they would encourage their media agencies to invest significantly more in high quality, relevant, non-toxic "TV/video/Streaming/Social" environments to achieve substaniutally increased "attention seconds" for their creative brand messages. 
    As I have always said when on either the buy or sell sides, "CPM what?"  If the "what" are merely device based viewable impressions, or more appropriately content rendered counts, and even if these so called "impressions" are independently verified, the resulting CPM may be low but will hide a key metric correlated to media campaign effects: A CPM based on attentive seconds. 
    Of note, GeoPath has ben provding OOH buyers and sellers persons based, Eyes-On audience and reach/frequency data for over 14 years thereby providing advertisers and their agencies the most meaningful currency of any medium. As suggested by Michael  Follett, MD Lumens, London at a recent asi Conference, OOH measurment offers lessons in the current currency chaos and the fundamental importance of a measured target group "seeing the ad" for any brand.  

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 4, 2023 at 3:25 p.m.

    Thanks, Tony. By the way, re OOH advertising, wasn't there a coup recently which abandoned the  attentiveness measures and returned to the old "boxcar", traffic count, "impression" stats which no media buyer believes but which are "comparable" to the "audience currencies" provided by digital media and TV? Like spot TV's "conversion" from GRPs to "impressions" this is another sign of the times---we are either standing pat---or going backwards. 

  4. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, January 4, 2023 at 4:38 p.m.

    Per Chris Whittle many years ago which I have stolen, CPM stands for "Completely Positively Mad" and is of course based on some sort of impression measure, i.e, frequency.  As a member of the GeoPath (TAB) Technical Commitee and other similar bodies globally including Route in the UK, we abandoned using traffic/circulation counts as an OOH metric, as we would "viewable impressions" even when independetly verified.  this was because  they were drastically discounted by the media agencies who wanted to understand who and how many of the brand target actually saw or looked at the ads (for any media under consideration). 
    As all the effectiveness studies have shown over the years, it is target audience reach, aka recency, along with propinquity, context, message relevance, etc. that is the key to media planning not frequency. 
    At the recent asi Conference in Nice in Novemeber, it was suggested that "The US has taken a retrograde step ..." in moving back to device based/circulation measures, "at a time when the industry is adopting what OOH has been doing for nearly 20 years."  Do I have your attention?  Havas and Dentsu certainly do! 

  5. John Grono from GAP Research, January 4, 2023 at 5:11 p.m.

    Ed & Tony, I agree with you that 'attentiveness' is the Holy Grail in audience measurtement.

    However 'attentiveness' is a gnarly beast that is hard to define, unlike 'presence' in a room with a TV on or in a car with the radio on.   But 'presence' doesn't mean that the content was actively observed - e.g. I dozed off in front of the TV, or I spent more time chatting with the passenger with me in the car.   Small-based studies can provide some indicators- e.g. x% of people admit they regularly fall asleep in front of the TV, and y% chat away in the car while the radio is on.   A good media planner would discount the 'currency' by such behavioural findings.

    'Attention' is a very personal thing.   My wife and I may be watching TV, and my wife has selected a favourite movie and I politely 'watch it' with her.   Guess whose 'attention' was higher.   Now flip the coin, and I choose to watch a sporting event and the inverse happens.   Ironically 'presence' is the better guide ... my wife goes off to read a magazine and I go and play some records or read MediaPost (LOL).

    Scenarios such as the above indicate that the 'content' is a primary, and probably the number one, factor that drives 'attention'.

    So let's drill down a bit further.   My wife likes movies - but not all movies are equal in her assessment - so the genre of 'content' is also not a very reliable indicator.   The same goes for sports I don't like (and there aren't many but I won't mention any as it may offend some).

    The next question is WHICH 'attention' are we talking about?   Is it the media owner's content attention?   And how much more would that add to the cost of the ratings data, and what would be the subsequent impact be on the advertising rates?

    My guess is that it is the advertiser that wants to know what the 'attention' to THEIR ad is.   OK, so hands-up advertisers who would be willing to pay the additional cost (even if it was practically possible)?   No need to put your hands down as I thought.

    Rather than trying to count angels on the head of a pin, a more practical approach would be for media owners to do regular studies that generate 'factors' such as 'presence' and 'genre content' so that media planners would have guidelines as to how much to discount the audience rating to a more realistic level.

    Oh, and of course, the advertiser could do their own bespoke studies as well.

  6. John Grono from GAP Research replied, January 4, 2023 at 5:27 p.m.

    Hi Tony.   I was writing my epic response while you were writing about OOH.

    Have you seen Australia's MOVE 1.0 (2010 launch)?   Or know what MOVE 1.5 to be released soon is?   Or what is in the pipeline for MOVE 2.0?   [It is an LTS measurement - a probabilistic basis.   [MOVE = Measurement of Outdoor Visibility and Exposure]

  7. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, January 4, 2023 at 6:49 p.m.

    John:  Fully aware of the meaningful value that MOVE provides both buyers and sellers based on the application of the principles in the recently updated Global Guidelines for OOH Audience measurement under the auspices of the WOO produced originally by ESOMAR.  It uses LTS as the currency rather the Eyes-On or visibility adjusted contacts, VAC's by GeoPath and ROUTE. Both OOH  metrics require Proof of Posting/Play; persons measured within the panel's scientifically determined visibility zone; and  application of a visibility adjustment based on an array of a panel's specifications proven to determine "seeing".   I believe MOVE 2.0 is going to indicate likely campaign effects for an OOH scheduke albeit a brand's creative message plays the predominent role in driving outcomes.  
    In terms of your essay on why attention should not be the basis of a media currency, me thinks thou dost protest too much! MOVE is on the leading edge.

  8. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 4, 2023 at 6:58 p.m.

    John, the problem is that the TV time sellers have no interest in doing studies that might be widely circulated that show that only 35-40% of the viewers credited to them per commercial via "impression" measurers like Nielsen actually watch all or, more commonly, only part of the commercials.  In days gone by, the sellers also resisted the switch to demographics ---especially income or education as these were certain to show that most TV shows had a low brow audience skew. So "we" , at the agencies,had to band together for the common good and collectively pressure them to accept demos---even though then, as now, the sellers paid most of the cost for such measurements. "We" won. Since then---and understandbly so---the sellers have tightened their control over the rating studies---witness the absurdity of the local market TV audience measurement reports switching to "viewer impressions" while dropping their ratings, as one example of what is happening. Or look at how secretive the national TV sellers are about their so-called "alternative metrics".

    The only way to introduce attentiveness measurements---basically eyes-on-screen---which gives you at least a meaningful threshold indicator---if not a completly perfect barometer of ad impact---is if the advertisers wake up and pressure their agencies to cooperate---as in olden times---presenting a united front to the sellers---not the  everybody goes their own way "age of me" approach that now prevails. Sadly, I see no signs of any such pressure developing.

    In other posts you have indicated---if I'm reading you right---that it would  be very difficult to incorporate  attentiveness into large sample national rating surveys. That's probably true but it's also not necessary. All that is needed is a  properly constituted big data  panel to collect device usage on a stable basis, augmented by a nationally projectible panel that measures both set usage and attentiveness. Providing the latter's set usage findings jibe generally with the big data panel's  it should be possible to simply project attentive viewers-per-set  factorsto the big data set usage info.   I think this could be done with an attentiveness panel of about 75,000-100,000.

  9. John Grono from GAP Research replied, January 4, 2023 at 8:15 p.m.

    Well thank you Tony regarding your MOVE comments.   It wasn't an easy journey, but there was the MFA (Media Federation of Australia - basically the large media agencies) and the five major OOH media businesses at the time (around 90% share).   The OMA Research Manager (Grant Guesdon, still there) was a godsend as was Veitch Lister.   My major role was to deliver 'believable' audience data to the media agencies by using LTS as the currency and not OTS, along with the requirement of the reach of a multi-vendor campaign.

    We had common goals, but some of the minutiae took a while to agree upon over the 3 years, with the hardest being the 'eyes-on' from the hundreds of hours of video threshold.   We used the 200ms minimum gaze time (I wanted 1 or 2 seconds) to count as an LTS.   The 200ms eliminated around about a third.

    MOVE 2.0 will focus on digital panels where a person can see more than one ad while within the Visibility Zone.   That means that audience count WILL increase without it being a form of a 'land-grab'.   The media agencies were initially a bit dubious but now they fully get it.  So we think that our measurements of attention to the posting are very robust.

    What I meant to say is that I can't see attention to individual ads/creative to be the currency.   Yes for an ad break, a poster etc.

    P.S. Who was the galoot who came up with the name MOVE!!!

  10. John Grono from GAP Research replied, January 4, 2023 at 8:30 p.m.

    Ed I agree that I see no appetite from the advertiser and only tepid interest from media agencies for measurement of 'attention'.   Lots of noise but not a lot of commitment.

    I also agree that 'vanity metrics' are being overly invented and used (e.g. local) and a plethora of digital-only entities.

    Your suggestion for a 75k-100k National 'Attentiveness Panel' has merit and also feels pretty right in size.   I see it as a 're-calibration' tool to re-weight the 'nett audience' down to the 'attentive audience' .. and I stress that would be an average and not a specific metric.   That is, it would have meaning and merit in a campaign effectiveness analysis - but not spot-by-spot.   The other restriction is that some media formats like newspapers, magazines, cinema and outdoor would be less able to provide 'overnight' data, (and probably not 'weekly' data) as the panellist would need to keep manual digital logs or daily diaries.

    Great debate guys!

  11. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 5, 2023 at 1:52 a.m.

    John, interesting point about "other media"---like radio and print. This has come up from time to time but there is little appetite for bothering about these media and lots of interest about digital venue attentiveness. Indeed much of the momentum, currently, is being driven by the very clear need to apply attentiveness to digital media buys, hence the somewhat misleading term, "planning" the buys"---as opposed to using attentiveness as a consideration in determining the broader media mix.

    In short, almost the entire focus is on making better specicic buys---site by site and TV show by TV show, when there are many other values to be gleaned from such information---- about how ad campaigns are developing awareness or ad message wearout, for example. In addition attentiveness can be a very important TV programming or website editorial content analysis tool, but here, too, little is said about such potentials.

  12. John Grono from GAP Research replied, January 5, 2023 at 7 a.m.

    Yes Ed, including the 'neoliths' of print, press and radio are not central to the current calls for more advanced measurement.   Ironically one of the oldest mediums probably has the highest attentitiveness ... you rarely see anyone walking out.

    Attentiveness is crucial to TV programming and a pretty good proxy is analysing the minute-by-minute viewing data (I think US Nielsen doesn't release that data do they?).   In the early 2000s I did that analysis for our largest market of Sydney.   I can't remember the actual numbers but it was something like a loss of 3-4% across the 3-minute ad-break, with the middle and towards the end of the break as high as -8%.  At that stage it was too cumbersome to do the calculations for all markets, demos and weeks, but I'd like to think that some agencies added that contingency in.

    In the digital world you can summise from all sorts of data collection.   I'm ALL for that .. as long as the rules and methods are standardised (hello MRC).   But given the number of times you can see claims that a campaign on Joe-Blow's website can deliver weekly audience reach well in excess of 100%.   Despair.

  13. John Grono from GAP Research, January 5, 2023 at 7:05 a.m.

    Oops.   I was referring to cinema in Para 1.

  14. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, January 5, 2023 at 9:54 a.m.

    Actually, John, Nielsen has allowed subscribers to purchase access to individual panel member data with, I believe, second by second "viewing" info---for a price, of course. About ten years ago a number of the large media agencies plunged in and tried to explore how viewers "watch" commercials as well as how to optimize various reach and frequency configurations using "real data" not possibly wrong formulas based on a limited number of dated ad schedule delivery tabs. What was discovered about how commercials were "watched" was very underwhelming---like the first message in a break does slightly better than those in the middle---which we already knew from old dial switching tabs. Otherwise there just wasn't the kind of discrimination between various types of commercials and placements that were expected---not because these don't exist but, rather, because the Nielsen system isn't able to accurately measure whether any claimed program viewer is actually watching a particular bit of content---either program content or commercials. All you get are dial switching avoidance  metrics which, typically are on the order of a few percentage points per commercial.

    Just to be clear, this is not a knock on Nielsen. All we got with the people meter system was a replacement of the once reliable household diary system, which by the 1980s had become questionable. So the People meter designers--Audits Of Great Britain---AGB---simply linked meters to obtain set usage data, with a proviso that each member of the panel who was present indicate whether he or she was watching the show when it was tuned in. That's all. Nobody imagined that we would use this system to determine "viewing" on a second by second basis---only set usage.We have simply been asking Nielsen to go too far----and it has complied.

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