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TV networks create joint industry committee for audience measurement

Jan 9, 2023
Illustration of a television test pattern made of hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Five major TV networks, in partnership with ad tech company OpenAP and trade association the Video Advertising Bureau, have teamed up to standardize new advertising currencies.

Why it matters: The TV industry has been seeking out alternatives to Nielsen. Newer measurement companies like iSpot and VideoAmp have raised significant capital but still have to overcome advertisers' reliance on traditional methods and establishing trust in the community.

Driving the news: The joint industry committee announced Monday includes Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision and Warner Bros. Discovery. It said it plans to share its measurement certification standards in March and outlined four initiatives it will fund:

  1. Creating and maintaining a measurement certification process.
  2. Collecting and connecting streaming viewership data with a new programmer dataset.
  3. Enlisting an audit firm to check that dataset.
  4. Collaborating with existing trade associations.

What they're saying: "These companies spend most of their time fighting with one another for audiences and advertising revenue. Massive changes in the way they do business have forced them to put down their boxing gloves — at least for now," Variety's Brian Steinberg writes.

Details: The new certification process for measurement vendors will be operational for the 2024 upfront season.

  • The committee has invited more media companies to join. Requirements include offering premium long-form video content and agreeing to share their streaming data.
  • Notable absentees to the current group include Disney and Netflix, which both recently launched ads on their streaming platforms.
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