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Nielsen Loses Seal of Approval From Media Ratings Council

On Sept. 1, the Media Rating Council revoked its approval from Nielsen as the means of measurement for the small screen, NextTV noted. What will be the next gold standard in rating television? And what does this mean for Nielsen's rivals?

One company jockeying for position is iSpot.TV. CEO Sean Muller said:

The only thing we know for sure is how dissatisfied a lot of the networks are and how serious they are about advancing measurement.

According to the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) and by the MRC, Nielsen undercounted viewers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which might have cost networks massive amounts of money. Going forward, measurement standards are increasingly important . AMC Networks' president of commercial revenue and partnerships Kim Kelleher opined:

The reality is that data has never been more important to content companies, and the challenge of determining exactly who is watching what, when, across multiple platforms has never been more complex. Any company working in this space needs to evolve and deliver accurate and comprehensive information to its customers and the entire competitive ecosystem that exists around content. That’s the price of admission today and going forward, bottom line.

In a letter to clients after the accreditation removal, Nielsen CEO David Kenny stated the company was dedicated to fixing its panels, making communicating better, and altering how it incorporates broadband-only households into its data. In addition, it is working on Nielsen One, which aims to use better data science in measurements. 

NBCUniversal has sent out requests for proposals from data analysis companies for independent systems of measurement. Discovery is reportedly looking for redress from Nielsen, sources stated, and it is looking to employ alternate measurement sources when negotiating with advertisers.

Another company looking to supply measurements is VideoAmp. Will it move in on territory that is now vacant? It is still working on its methodology, but chief product officer Cameron Meierhoefer said:

It’s in the industry’s interest. We’ll be there when we’re ready.

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