Venerable audience measurement firm Nielsen today announced the upcoming release of Nielsen ONE Ads, the first module of its cross-screen measurement platform. The new product, which will be available on January 11, promises deduplicated measurement across linear TV, CTV, mobile devices and desktop.

Kim Gilberti, SVP, product management at Nielsen, said there was a huge need for cross-channel, comparable audience measurement. 

“It’s imperative to really understand who you’re reaching, how often you’re reaching them and on what platforms,” Gilberti said in a Zoom call with reporters. “Whether you’re a publisher, whether you’re an advertiser, whether you’re a brand, you really need to be able to understand your audience across all these different sources in a way that’s truly comparable.”

Why we care. Nielsen’s cross-screen measurement platform is critical if the company hopes to regain any of the relevance it had during the broadcast TV era. Software development nearly always takes longer than promised, so it’s foolish to read too much into delays around the launch of the modules for the platform. However, Nielsen is now facing competition from other audience measurement providers for the first time. Any delay gives those companies more time to establish themselves and sign key industry clients.

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What it does. Nielsen ONE Ads lets advertisers track deduped audience reach and frequency counts, including a percentage of target audience reach, across screens by campaign based on Nielsen’s panel data and its ID resolution system. 

Last year Nielsen introduced the Nielsen ONE Content module, aimed at providing an aggregate view of campaign performance across devices. That module is still in alpha, but the company says it is expected to be available later this year. 

She said that when Nielsen ONE — the company’s cross-screen measurement platform — is fully operational, it should “allow advertisers and publishers to plan and to transact on a single set of metrics across linear and digital. And those metrics are reliable, independent and standardized across the industry and across all of those different platforms.” 

The platform was originally announced in December 2020. At the time it was expected to combine “big data” from set-top boxes and smart TVs with panels of Nielsen households. Last summer, Nielsen said the system wasn’t ready for commercial use. The company also postponed an audit of the system by the Media Rating Council. 

Dig deeper: Is Nielsen’s prime time over? Purchase renews questions about products and long-term value

The MRC suspended accreditation of Nielsen’s linear TV ratings in 2021. That accreditation has yet to be restored. Last year the company was purchased by private-equity investors for $16 billion and lost a number of senior executives.


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