Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Beginning this week, all NBC and Telemundo-owned local TV stations will use impressions instead of traditional ratings points to measure an ad campaign’s effectiveness, according to an agency pitch document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Local TV and radio are the last forms of media to still rely on traditional ratings points to measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign. Nearly every other type of media uses the cost per impression (CPM) to measure an ad's effectiveness.

  • According to the document, NBC/Telemundo owned-stations' sales teams will begin to move to CPM measurement "starting immediately."
  • "Consumers no longer only watch TV in a traditional linear fashion – Rating points only measure linear television," the document says. "Local TV needs to measure video viewing across all platforms."

Be smart: Most local TV stations have websites and apps that distribute content on multiple platforms besides live, linear broadcast, but an antiquated ratings system has made it hard for them to sell against any kind of digital viewership.

How it works: Broadly, by switching from ratings to impression-based measurement, media buyers can target more people. That's because there are a number of areas that are too small to create a ratings point, so agencies couldn't target long-tail TV audiences in more remote communities.

The big picture: Most agencies don't transact on impressions at the local broadcast level, says Kathy Doyle, EVP of Local Investment at MAGNA Global. "We were the first ones, and as far as I know. The other media agencies I've spoken to were talking about putting it in place for 2020, last I heard."

What's next: Expect other local television groups to move to impressions quickly. Once agencies begin transacting at the local level for one group via impressions, the entire ecosystem will follow.

  • TV networks plan to include out-of-home (OOH) audiences in national ratings in 2020, Variety's Brian Steinberg reports. That would have major ramifications for networks like ESPN and CNBC, which are mostly viewed out-of-home.

The bottom line: "This is a game-changer for local," says Frank Comerford, the chief revenue officer and president of commercial operations for NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

  • "We need to do this and should’ve done it a long time ago but no one wanted to upset the Apple cart. But now, the risk isn’t upsetting marketplace, it’s missing the marketplace."

Go deeper

EU threatens Belarus with sanctions amid third night of unrest

Belarus riot police detain protesters in Minsk on Tuesday. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union warned Tuesday it could reimpose sanctions on Belarus as riot police clashed for a third night with demonstrators protesting this week's elections that the EU described as "neither free nor fair," per the Guardian.

Why it matters: The EU removed most sanctions against Belarus four years ago, after "Europe's last dictator" Alexander Lukashenko released political prisoners and permitted protests, AP notes. The EU said in a statement Tuesday it would be "conducting an in-depth review" into its relations with former Soviet country over his elections win claim and the deadly crackdown on protesters.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 20,284,882 — Total deaths: 741,126— Total recoveries: 12,585,473Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1 a.m. ET: 5,141,208 — Total deaths: 164,537 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. States: Georgia reports 137 coronavirus deaths, setting new daily record Florida reports another daily record for deaths.
  4. Health care: Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: Moderna reveals it may not hold patent rights for vaccine.
  6. Sports: Big Ten scraps fall football season.
  7. World: Anthony Fauci "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

Ilhan Omar wins Minnesota primary

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) won the Democratic primary against lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux on Tuesday evening, AP reports.

Why it matters: The race is one that's played out across the U.S. as progressives continue to sweep party nominations. Omar's win officially means all four progressive members of "The Squad" have won their primary elections.