Nielsen Expands Big Data Data Deal With Comcast

TV and broadband giant Comcast Corp. may not be thrilled about being a Nielsen customer, but this morning it announced a deal renewing Nielsen as its customer, expanding a multi-year agreement licensing its proprietary return path data to the media measurement giant.

The deal renewal is important for two reasons.

One is that it is a tacit vote of confidence coming at a time when Comcast -- especially its NBCUniversal division -- has been among the big TV-centric media organizations backing multiple, alternative currencies to compete with Nielsen in the advertising marketplace.

The other is that it comes at a time when Nielsen has seen an erosion in the representativeness of the Big Data sources that are a vital component of its new Nielsen One service that is poised to replace its legacy panel-based measurement service as its default advertising marketplace currency.



In recent years, due to the deprecation of cookies, consumer identity trackers and various privacy policies and regulations, some of those sources -- especially social media giant Meta -- have become less representative of the population they were intended to be a proxy for.

With a footprint of nearly 45 million subscriber households, Comcast's return-path data is among the most indelible and representative sources of consumer media usage data and is a vital component of Nielsen One for both national and local audience-measurement services.

"We are delighted to extend our strategic partnership with Comcast allowing us to continue to embrace the power of big data for our services both locally across nearly 100 markets and nationally with addressable measurement," Nielsen Audience Measurement CEO Karthik Rao explains in a statement announcing the renewal this morning.

"This agreement dually reinforces the importance big data plays in our work and Nielsen's deep commitment to delivering accurate measurement that helps our clients make informed decisions in an increasingly complex media landscape," he adds.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nielsen will expand its use of Comcast's return-path data to include use of Comcast RPD for local TV measurement across all of the 94 media markets beginning next year.

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