Even as the U.S. JIC (joint industry committee) pushes to surface and certify new alternative TV and "cross-platform" measurement currencies, a shakeout in that supply chain seems inevitable, and iSpot and 605 are the first to blink. Both those companies were among the half dozen alt currency providers to take the first step in that process, submitting RFI (request for information) to be evaluated by the JIC's scoring rubric.
That was three months ago, and while no news has been announced about the status of those certifications -- or whether other alt-currency suppliers have also stepped forward -- this morning's news that iSpot has acquired 605 has consolidated the potential supply chain a smidge.
Meanwhile, Nielsen, which so far has NOT submitted to the JIC for certification, continues to make noise about the steps it has been taking with the other U.S. industry currency certifier -- er, make that accreditor -- the Media Rating Council (MRC).
Nielsen's latest noise -- a letter sent to clients and statements released to the press late last week -- wasn't 100% clear, so let me set the record straight on the status of that.
In it, Nielsen said it disclosed a plan to the MRC to begin integrating first-party data into its accredited TV currency panel beginning this month and that it was in the process of responding to the MRC's feedback about that.
What it did not explicitly state -- but what recipients apparently were supposed to infer -- was that it scrapped the currency panel first-party data integration plan, at least for now.
In lieu of that, Nielsen did say it has already begun integrating first-party data into its Big Data service, which it separately has been lobbying the MRC to integrate with its currency panel.
The MRC audit committee is expected to meet soon to vote on whether to continue accrediting Nielsen's panel service if and when Nielsen begins calibrating it based on the Big Data service.
If you read between the lines here, the growth in alternative currencies most recently is not coming from Nielsen competitors, but from Nielsen itself: It now has one official currency -- the MRC accredited one -- and one alt currency, the Big Data one.
Time will tell whether it continues to have one, maybe two, or even none.
Meanwhile, while all the noise has been focused on Amazon Prime as the source of Nielsen's first-party data integration, Nielsen executives say they are open to other "publishers" to opt-in with first-party data of their own.