Demand for better numbers is making measurement companies the strongest sector of the media business, according to Tom Eagan, managing director and senior research analyst at The Telsey Group.
Speaking at B&C's Advanced Advertising conference in New York Tuesday, Eagan said that entertainment companies have been going through a difficult time financially.
"Measurement isn't what they want it to be," Eagan said. "Better measurement is the key."
What the networks are looking for from the industry's two big competitors—Nielsen and comScore—is cross-platform metrics and advanced demographics that will help them sell commercials while competing against digital advertising options.
Eagan noted that this year digital ad spending is likely to tie TV advertising at about $65 billion, and surpass it next year.
While it's important for both comScore and Nielsen to get their new cross-platform and total audience measurement products out to the networks and ad agencies in time for a test drive during this upfront, that data won't be used to determine ad buys until the 2017 upfornt.
And 2018 will be the year when many companies will have to make decisions about which measurement they'll use since most don't have research budgets to be able to employ both, Eagan said.
Speaking of advertising, Eagan made a fairly bold prediction that by 2017, Netflix will have an advertising option. As its subscriber total reaches maturity, "to keep their multiple, they'll need another source of revenue," he said.