Nielsen to start measuring ratings on Roku
James R | On 07, May 2015
If you ever needed proof that VOD consumption is on the rise, follow the money: digital advertising spend is increasing, as companies target the cord-cutting generation of TV viewers. With advertising, though, there must come analysis – some kind of quantifiable measurement that indicates whether the cost has been worth it. That’s why ratings have long governed what is commissioned and what is cancelled: commercial broadcasters want to show the content that can bring in the biggest bucks.
Video on-demand, then, with no such infrastructure, is something of a conundrum for the old-school system. Google, which has long held a monopoly on online data, has already established its own system on YouTube, with metrics and top channels available to advertisers. Netflix and Amazon, meanwhile, have historically refused to divulge any viewing figures to the public, insisting that because they do not offer advertising, they have no need to do so.
Now, though, numerical veteran Nielsen is stepping up to start counting.
The company has announced a strategic agreement with Roku that will enable Nielsen to measure video advertising delivered to the manufacturer’s streaming players and Roku TV models. Approximately half of the 250 most watched channels on the Roku platform are already delivering a large amount of ad-supported content to consumers. This new measurement is an industry first for over-the-top (OTT) devices and will enable marketers to buy video advertising on the Roku platform with the same kind of audience guarantees available with traditional television.
Nielsen and Roku will enable OTT measurement through Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings systen. Participating services have not been confirmed yet, but publishers who choose to participate will have the ability to measure their audience according to Nielsen demographics, as well as access the full suite of Digital Ad Ratings to “measure, guarantee and report campaign audience delivery” through the Roku platform.
“Cross-platform audience measurement is critical for advertisers looking to leverage the trend of increasing over-the-top video consumption,” says Megan Clarken, EVP of Global Watch Product Leadership at Nielsen. “By working with Roku to measure live streaming and on-demand advertising on its platform, we can gain great insights into OTT viewing and expand the measurement and delivery of Total Audience Campaign and Content insights for all of our clients.”
The announcement follows Nielsen agreeing with Netflix and Amazon to measure their viewing figures – a process that will begin later this year. Unlike Roku’s data, though, these figures will only be related to TV viewing and will only be provided to content owners, not advertisers.
“We believe all TV will be streamed, and with it all TV advertising,” adds Scott Rosenberg, vice president of advertising at Roku. “We’re excited to join forces with Nielsen to significantly advance the measurement and value of OTT advertising. With Nielsen, we’re integrating these capabilities directly into the Roku OS, enabling Roku’s channel publishers and advertisers to measure and transact on the industry’s leading metrics.”