The Battle for Cross-Screen Measurement Heats Up

TV targeting

It’s no secret that Nielsen and comScore, used by media planning companies, are battling it out to become the leader of cross-screen media measurement, and speculation was fueled by last September’s announcement that comScore was merging with Rentrak. Nielsen has had a stranglehold on the top spot for some time. But with this merger the pressure is on, as both companies see the need to measure cross platform as we move forward in the media space.


Under the Radar

One big thing is getting overlooked as these competitors battle it out for top spot. It’s the vast capabilities of both companies to apply TV data to online audiences. As advertisers continue to test new things in digital advertising trends, they’re moving their TV dollars to test these emerging technologies. It will be interesting to see which advertisers dive into these data sets to test running alongside their traditional TV buys, or in some cases test replacing their TV buys, by hitting these same audiences online.

Nielsen and Rentrak provide different types of big data intelligence, as Nielsen is panel based and Rentrak is set-top box data based, but both have strategically positioned themselves to be leaders in this space as well. Through these partners, there are vast capabilities to leverage TV data online, including targeting by genre of TV viewership, targeting by clusters (e.g., cartoons for grownups, golf enthusiasts), targeting by network, and custom segments, in which you can match an advertiser’s existing TV schedule.

These different capabilities will allow advertisers to target as broadly as ‘Consumers who watch cooking or home improvement shows,’ to as granular as 'Targeted digital ads between the hours of 5:00pm-8:00pm on Food Network,’ matching their TV buys. We have already seen an uptick in questions regarding these technologies since the merger, and feel this has the potential to be a major growth opportunity for digital, as ad spending continues to trend toward surpassing TV.

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