Nielsen hopes to regain TV ratings accreditation this year

As Nielsen reported its second quarter earnings, the audience measurement company reiterated its plans for later this year – including regaining industry TV ratings accreditation.

Nielsen CEO David Kenny stated the company has “completed the vast majority of success criteria required for re-accreditation of our U.S. TV ratings services.”

The Media Rating Council (MRC), which evaluates services used in the advertising industry, suspended Nielsen’s accreditation last year on the grounds of potentially unreliable data. Kenny added MRC members are expected to vote on re-accreditation later this year.

Revenue-wise, Nielsen brought in $882 million, a 2.4% year on year increase. Of that, $644 million in revenue came from Nielsen’s measurement business, which saw “overall solid growth” in domestic and international markets.

Whereas net income rose to $110 million, up from $86 million in Q2 2021.

Despite losing accreditation, Nielsen maintains a healthy number of media partners. The company is leveraging Vizio data of about 20 million U.S. connected TVs, while Tubi and Studio71 are tapping into Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings.

“Nielsen remains the currency of choice for the U.S media industry, which was evidenced in this year's upfronts,” Kenny further stated.

Aiming to take its ad measuring skills to the next level, Nielsen last week introduced a four-screen ad deduplication tool for YouTube. The product is designed to help marketers better understand reach on that platform across desktop, mobile, linear and CTV.

Google recently commissioned Nielsen to perform a meta-analysis that measured YouTube CTV and TV across U.S. consumer packaged goods.

Nielsen last month also unveiled two updates – including outcomes measurement – to Nielsen One’s alpha version. Kenny noted Nielsen’s made “tremendous progress” on the cross-media platform, reiterating Nielsen One will be brought to market by December 2022.

While Nielsen One remains in progress, distributors are experimenting with alternative measurement currencies. Horizon Media in June tapped Comscore to test its data for local TV measurement.

Innovid, a CTV advertising platform, released last month a cross-platform measurement product of its own, touting impressions data tied to about 95 million U.S. households.

Nielsen announced last year plans to shift towards impressions-based buying and selling in local markets, in an attempt to ease criticism of its ratings. But the company must also contend with a lawsuit from Allen Media Group, which accused Nielsen’s measurement of failing to capture viewership for AMG’s channels.

Alongside Nielsen’s activities in the audience measurement space, the company’s in the process of being acquired by a private equity consortium led by Elliott Management.

The transaction, valued at $16 billion including debt, is scheduled to close in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approval. Nielsen shareholders will convene on August 9 to vote on the acquisition’s approval.