Nielsen unveils ad deduplication tool for YouTube audience measurement

Nielsen is upping its advanced advertising game, launching today a product for ad buyers to compare YouTube audience reach with that of desktop, mobile, linear and connected TV.

Known as Four-Screen Ad Deduplication, the technology is designed to delineate linear TV and CTV inventory, helping marketers better understand YouTube ad engagement as well as manage frequency of their media buys. Nielsen accomplishes this by deduplicating – or eliminating – redundant audience data.

The product will initially be made available on Nielsen’s Total Ad Ratings solution, eventually making its way onto Nielsen One, the company’s upcoming cross-media management platform.

The ad deduplication tool is relevant, Nielsen noted, given YouTube accounts for over 50% of ad-supported streaming watch time on connected TVs in the U.S. – among people aged 18 and up.

YouTube has caught a sizable piece of the ad-spending pie, with MediaRadar reporting $482 million was spent on YouTube video ads in the first quarter.

As media platforms and consumer engagement continue to converge, advertisers need a complete picture of their ad spend, according to Debbie Weinstein, VP of global advertiser solutions at Google and YouTube.

“Nielsen enabling advertisers to compare YouTube’s reach across mobile, desktop and now CTV to TV is a tremendous step towards their vision for Nielsen One, and we look forward to their continued efforts to bring cross media measurement to the industry,” she stated.

Kim Gilberti, SVP of product management at Nielsen, added that in a converged marketplace, “digital measurement must provide continuous and comparable metrics across all channels.”

Nielsen One, currently in its alpha version, will be officially released to the market beginning in 2023. Nielsen last month unveiled two key updates for the platform – advanced audience capabilities and outcomes measurement for ad campaigns.

It comes as no surprise Nielsen is rolling out these audience measurement enhancements. The company lost industry accreditation last year for allegedly unreliable audience data.

Since then, Nielsen’s aimed to shift from its traditional panel-based measurement to a more impressions-based methodology. The company in April snagged a deal with Vizio, leveraging the smart TV manufacturer’s dataset of about 20 million U.S. connected TVs.

Nielsen’s Gracenote, which provides metadata of music, video and sports, came out with new datasets last month designed to quantify a program’s “bingeability.” The datasets can measure the average number of TV show episodes watched per day, for instance.

Despite these technological innovations, Nielsen must contend with emerging players in the alternative measurement space. Comscore was recently tapped by media services agency Horizon Media to test its local TV viewership data. And this month renewed its ad measurement contract with Crackle Plus.