Nielsen Holdings PLC is pushing toward a new measure next year to gauge national viewing for individual commercials.
While the industry has been transacting since 2007 on the C3 ratings metric, which measures the average of all commercial minutes in a program over a three-day period, Nielsen says its "Individual Commercial Metrics" will provide a measurement of linear television at a "sub-minute" level. That will allow messages to be tracked in a manner akin to the digital world.
C3 was introduced as a means for advertisers to gain credit for consumers watching messages outside of the live linear window, which eroded as more people used DVRs and on-demand catch-up options. C7 is also a standard transactional currency, gauging the viewing of commercials over a week's time.
For the new system, projected to take effect during the first half of next year, Nielsen has enlisted third-party logistics firm Extreme Reach to help encode most national linear commercials with watermarks. Gracenote, which Nielsen acquired in 2017, will also assist in the watermarking process.
Individual commercial metrics mark a foundational step toward the Nielsen ONE platform, which aims to afford improved cross-platform viewing measurement by integrating linear and digital watching, according to Kim Gilberti, senior vice president of product management at Nielsen.
"By transforming our TV measurement and moving to Individual Commercial Metrics, both media buyers and sellers will be able to maximize the value of their inventory as well as capitalize and drive return on investment of their advertising spend across the rapidly converging traditional and digital landscapes," Gilberti said in a release.
Nielsen has come under fire for underreporting audience as its samples eroded amid reduced field trips to panel homes during the pandemic. Industry watchdog Media Rating Council, whose membership includes most major media companies, suspended accreditation for Nielsen's national, local people meter and set meter market services in September. Nielsen has said it is committed to the audit process and resolving the suspension.
Meanwhile, rival Comscore Inc. is looking to secure a bigger seat at the negotiating table during next year's upfront marketplace, when content providers will look to sell linear and digital schedules to media agencies and their clients ahead of the 2022-23 TV season.
NBCUniversal Media LLC is seeking to find its own solutions for the measurement of audiences and the effectiveness of commercials. It has received more than 100 responses to its request for proposals. The programmer has grouped the respondents into six categories and expects to reach out to potential partners to begin a certification process next year.
ViacomCBS Inc. has also inked a deal with VideoAmp Inc. to deploy the firm's commingled TV viewership data to guarantee linear transactions against age and gender demographics.