NBCU taps iSpot.tv for ad measurement during Super Bowl, Olympics

NBCUniversal reached a multiyear deal with iSpot.tv to make it a preferred ad measurement partner and pilot new currency tests during two major TV events.

Beginning today, iSpot.tv will support NBCUniversal’s audience verification initiatives for both ads and program ratings. The companies will conduct currency tests during the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and Super Bowl LVI with clients across several verticals. Publicis Media will be the first media holding company to test this new measurement across NBCUniversal’s entire One Platform and use the new tools to support multiple brands.

NBCU opting for iSpot.tv’s “real-time” measurement for ads and verified impressions within linear, streaming and time-shifted viewing is one of the biggest blows yet to Nielsen, whose ad metrics have been heavily scrutinized in the video industry over the past year. NBCUniversal said it will continue to announce new measurement partners as they become certified.

The programmer said the new deal is part of its ongoing effort to bring advertisers “more accurate, timely and diverse insights that capture the way real audiences consume content and use this broad array of performance metrics to modernize the way video is valued.”

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It arrives after NBCU’s measurement evaluation process and industry consultation process and could provide a new framework for how the programmer transacts in the 2022-2023 Upfront cycle. It also comes on the heels of the recent introduction of NBCUnified, the company’s new first-party consumer data and identity platform.

“This is not a shift away from one panel-based system to another, but a definitive step toward embracing the metrics brands already use to evaluate media companies,” said Kelly Abcarian, executive vice president of measurement and impact at NBCUniversal Advertising and Partnerships, in a statement. “We have an obligation to deliver consumers a great experience, and an obligation to our customers and shareholders to utilize measurement systems that adequately capture the reach, attention, and outcomes we deliver. Our learnings from this partnership will help transform our measurement solutions as we head into the next Upfront season and bring advertisers more data that accurately reflects our audiences, their consumption habits and campaign impact.”

“Measurement must reflect the all screen, one video world consumers have created,” said John Muszynski, chairman of Publicis Media Exchange (PMX) U.S., in a statement. “Through this test-and-learn across NBCUniversal’s One Platform, PMX will be able to provide its portfolio of brands a more accurate, holistic approach to measurement that prioritizes performance and impact. The results of this partnership will serve as the blueprint for the marketplace to transact using improved measurement during the 2022-2023 Upfront Cycle.”

“NBCU is leaning into giving advertisers what they want: fast, accurate and granular cross-platform measurement that proves the value of investments,” said Sean Muller, founder and CEO of iSpot.tv, in a statement. “We applaud the work NBCU kicked off last year to accelerate the TV industry toward a more audience-centric, cross-screen and outcome-oriented framework that helps brands invest with confidence.”