TV trading group denounces Nielsen’s initial plan with two data currencies


As television networks offer measurement currency alternatives to Nielsen in the future, Nielsen is offering its own alternative, according to the Video Advertising Bureau. The trade group that represents the networks isn’t happy about it, but said it wants to partner with Nielsen to find a solution.

In a letter to Nielsen later in the day, the VAB said Nielsen was preparing to release two sets of currencies into the market ahead of the upfronts. One is based on its TV ratings panel of 41,000 US homes and the other is a “big data” alternative to the alpha version of the next-generation Nielsen One, which incorporates data from millions of home set-top boxes and smart TVs.

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“Nielsen’s view is that buyers/sellers should decide which set of currency data to use in initial negotiations,” according to a VAB statement. The group said media company research teams “uncovered genuine concerns that could harm initial negotiations” after analyzing a month of new data (from September 2021, but not released until February).

“We are deeply disappointed that these concerns are being raised in the press rather than in direct discussion and collaboration with us,” Nielsen said in a statement. “We have been in regular contact with our clients, including hosting client webinars and numerous individual client meetings to review the methodology used to create the audience estimates and the recent release of impact data. We have been and We remain committed to working with our customers to convey a thorough understanding of this comprehensive offering. Until the publication of this letter, we have “We have not received any questions from VAB. Additionally, a trade group associated with traditional television channels is an incomplete and biased subset of the video market. We prefer to work openly with the whole industry to find the best measurement solution.”

The VAB calls for more information on how the new currency data was created and for having “full confidence in the accuracy of the information to explain the differences to buyers,” according to the organization’s statement. The group also said it wants to partner with Nielsen on next steps.

Nielsen said he made the decision to allow either dataset to be used in fall trading based on feedback from buyers and sellers. The company said it addressed customer concerns about how close the data release was to the former. “Our approach will allow buyers and sellers to trade against big data and panel metrics if they choose, while giving our customers the flexibility to adapt to this launch.”


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