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State of the Screens

NBCUniversal Changes the Channel on Nielsen

By August 26, 2021No Comments

Person holding Roku Remote

Big news #1: After months of public wrangling, Nielsen asked the Media Ratings Council (MRC) to pause its accreditation.

Big news #2: NBCUniversal is working with 50+ measurement vendors on alternative currencies.

Why this matters: According to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), recent issues with Nielsen’s measurement cost networks $468M – $2.8B over a 12-month period.

Flashback #1: Who Are The Winners In The Roku/Nielsen Deal?

Flashback #2: Nielsen Addresses Measurement Gap With ‘Biggest Change In a Decade’

Recent events between Nielsen and the MRC:
1) May – The MRC announced Nielsen undercounted February 2021 viewership by 2% to 6%.

2) July – The VAB calls on the MRC to suspend Nielsen’s accreditation.

3) August – Nielsen asks the MRC to pause its accreditation.

Mr. Screen’s Crystal Ball #1: As marketers shift to valuing inventory based on business outcomes, we already live in a world of multiple currencies.

Mr. Screen’s Crystal Ball #2: The future is algorithmic optimization driven by various signals (transactional, panels, models, etc.).

Quote from Bharad Ramesh – Director of Research and Investment Analytics @ GroupM:
“A significant portion of TV as we know it will be transacted the way digital is today – it will be addressable and data informed. We are already preparing for an era where ratings are not the currency by which clients buy and sell media – and we feel that the ecosystem will continue to evolve rapidly to enable us to do so.”

Quote from Mike Shields – Founder @ Shields Strategic Consulting:
“Of course, tying TV ads to outcomes is still really hard to do. Attribution just isn’t as simple ad it is on Instagram, where people can buy things straight from an ad unit. But the more that digital buyers like Rinaldi and DTC brands push the medium to improve its accountability, dayparts, and ratings are going to seem quaint. For example, what happens if we find out big pricey ads in the Olympics don’t actually drive results for many brands, but ads in low-rated sitcoms do?”

PSA: Mike Shields produces both an excellent newsletter and podcast I highly recommend!

Big question #1: What is the top priority for marketers and video advertising?

Rank for “reaching the right audience” according to the Video Advertising Bureau:
1) Large brand marketers – #1
2) Small brand marketers – #2
3) Large business agencies – #1
4) Small business agencies – #1

Big question #2: What are the top priority for marketers and ad measurement?

Share of agency/brand marketers who rated each factor as “very important” according to the Trade Desk:
1) Export data across marketing platforms – 52%
2) Cross-screen reach and frequency – 49%
3) Media specific ROI – 48%
4) Transparent measurement – 47%
5) Cross-channel attribution – 47%

Importance Level of Select Factors to Effective Ad Measurement Graph

More #1: What Nielsen MRC Accreditation Hiatus Means for Advertisers – Not Much

More #2: Media Measurement Market Fragmenting Just Like Media Consumption

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.

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