New York – Nielsen’s long-awaited Total Audience measurement product is expected to revolutionize the TV business once it becomes widely available later this year, but president of global products Megan Clarken told an industry audience that it is up to media buyers and advertisers to use the tools provided by the product to change the way ads are bought and sold.
Nielsen’s Total Audience product is currently being used on a proprietary basis by about 100 clients, Clarken said at the Multichannel News/B&C Advanced Advertising Summit Tuesday. Those clients are evaluating the data provided by the product and are expected to be comfortable enough to share their own data with other clients using the data sets by late Q2 or early in Q3 this year.
While Total Audience is expected to give advertisers and programmers a more detailed and accurate look into how today's viewers are watching content across devices and platforms, it isn’t a magic bullet.
“What it is, is a framework,” Clarken said at a keynote session moderated by Multichannel News/B&C editorial director Mark Robichaux. Total Audience serves four purposes: as a tool to measure audiences across devices and platforms; as a comparable measure of digital, traditional TV and time-shifted TV; as a tool to measure ads separately from content; and as a ratings service that no longer is just the domain of just traditional broadcasters, that includes digital, video, audio and text providers to use the same language for the first time.
But any revolution is going to first require that the currency rules change.