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TV measurement 2024: Navigating the latest trends

Published: April 16, 2024 by Experian Marketing Services

2024 TV measurement trends: What marketers should know

As TV measurement continues to evolve and blend with digital, marketers need to stay on top of the newest trends to understand and capitalize on viewer behavior across all screen types. Several key developments for TV measurement in 2024 are helping shape the industry, including Nielsen’s global expansion and the increasing interest in alternative measurement providers.

Read on to learn more about how these changes can impact the future of TV measurement.

TV measurement background

In the ever-shifting terrain of television measurement, one name has long stood as the bedrock: Nielsen.

Nielsen

Nielsen is a leading provider of TV audience measurement and analytics. It is known for its TV rating system, which tracks viewership across various demographics and time slots. Nielsen’s data is used by media companies, advertisers, and broadcasters to understand audience preferences, develop, and plan advertising campaigns, and monitor program performance.

Nielsen’s recent global expansion

Nielsen has continued to expand its global coverage and now fully represents 100% of TV households in the continental U.S., delivering comprehensive and accurate audience measurement. Through this expansion, Nielsen has remained a go-to resource for domestic and international television analytics.

In 2021, Nielsen faced a significant setback when it was stripped of its MRC (Media Rating Council) accreditation, sending shockwaves through the industry. While the accreditation was eventually reinstated in 2023, the incident underscored the need for diversification and alternatives within TV measurement.

TV measurement competitor outlook

For decades, advertisers and agencies have relied on Nielsen’s metrics as the gold standard, a trusted source of data guiding ad spending and campaign strategies. However, recent developments have shaken this foundation, prompting a reevaluation of the TV measurement landscape.

One notable trend emerging in tv measurement in 2024 is the increasing interest in alternative measurement providers. As advertisers seek greater transparency, accuracy, and flexibility in measurement, many are exploring options beyond Nielsen. These providers offer distinct advantages and drawbacks, presenting advertisers and agencies with a wealth of options and considerations.

Here are the main competitors in the field.

Panel-based TV measurement providers

Panel-based TV measurement has long been a staple in the industry, relying on representative samples of viewers to extrapolate audience behavior. In 2024, several providers offer panel-based solutions, each with different strengths.

Comscore

Comscore is a key player in panel-based TV measurement, offering comprehensive audience measurement solutions for both linear and digital television. With its massive panel of opted-in households, Comscore provides advertisers with detailed demographic and behavioral insights, enabling targeted advertising strategies. Comscore recently earned MRC accreditation for total household and average audience measurement in national and local TV reports.

Kantar Media

Kantar Media offers a range of panel-based TV measurement services, including audience measurement, ad effectiveness measurement, and competitive intelligence. With its global footprint and deep expertise in media analytics, Kantar Media helps advertisers understand audience trends and optimize their media investments.

Kantar Media is currently working to create a cross-media measurement panel similar in size to what Nielsen offers. While Kantar Media does not presently operate in the U.S. TV measurement market, it would be a formidable competitor should it move into the arena.

ACR-based TV measurement providers

Automatic content recognition (ACR) technology has revolutionized TV measurement, allowing for real-time monitoring of content consumption across devices. In 2024, several providers use ACR technology to deliver innovative measurement solutions.

iSpot.TV

iSpot.TV has emerged as a leading provider of ACR-based TV measurement, using its advanced technology stack to capture and analyze TV ad exposures in real-time. Through its acquisition of 605, iSpot.TV strengthens its position in the market, offering advertisers enhanced audience targeting and attribution capabilities.

iSpot.tv’s ad catalog and ad occurrence data are fully accredited by the MRC, which is one of its strongest assets.

Samba TV

Samba TV offers a comprehensive ACR-based TV measurement platform, providing advertisers with insights into audience behavior across linear, streaming, and connected TV environments. With its robust data infrastructure and machine learning algorithms, Samba TV enables advertisers to optimize their TV advertising campaigns for maximum impact.

Samba has recently partnered with HyphaMetrics to create an alternative panel to compete with others in the market.

TVision

TVision is a smaller competitor in this group that blends ACR-based TV measurement solutions with a panel-based approach, offering advertisers and networks real-time visibility into viewer engagement and attention metrics. By tracking viewer attention and emotional response, TVision helps advertisers understand the effectiveness of their TV ad campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

Advantages of alternative measurement providers

As the TV measurement landscape continues to evolve in 2024, alternative measurement providers present compelling advantages over traditional approaches. Let’s explore three key benefits of embracing alternative measurement providers.

Diverse data sources

Alternative providers use a wide array of data sources, including set-top boxes, smart TVs, streaming platforms, and digital devices, offering a more comprehensive view of audience behavior.

Granular insights

Many alternative providers offer granular insights into viewer demographics, preferences, and engagement metrics, allowing for more targeted and effective advertising strategies.

Real-time analytics

Some providers offer real-time analytics capabilities, enabling advertisers to optimize campaigns on the fly and capitalize on emerging trends and opportunities.

Challenges with alternative measurement providers

Alternative providers face several key challenges that need to be addressed before they are widely adopted. Let’s dive into each challenge in more detail.

Fragmentation

With multiple providers using different methodologies and metrics, achieving standardization and comparability across campaigns can be a daunting task.

With the proliferation of over-the-top (OTT) services, the TV measurement landscape has become increasingly complex, with new platforms emerging regularly. While ACR technology has enhanced data collection directly from televisions, the market remains highly fragmented, with many manufacturers (like Vizio, LG, and Samsung) building their own ACR solutions.

Data privacy concerns

As TV measurement becomes increasingly data-driven, concerns around consumer privacy and data ethics loom large, necessitating robust privacy protocols and compliance measures. We’ve already seen lawsuits around the ACR approach to TV measurement.

Education and adoption

Shifting away from the familiar territory of Nielsen requires education and buy-in from stakeholders, including advertisers, agencies, and media buyers, which can be a gradual and iterative process.

Importance of an identity graph in TV measurement

As the TV measurement landscape trends toward a blend of options instead of singular approaches, the ability to identify and target audiences across platforms is crucial. An identity graph serves as a foundational tool that can enable brands and advertisers to resolve disparate data sources into a unified view of the consumer.

Embedded within our suite of products, our Graph offers a distinct advantage for accurate attribution and reporting. As the industry shifts toward cross-channel campaigns, our in-house nationally representative device graph becomes increasingly invaluable.

Unlike many providers, we seamlessly merge offline and digital data, enabling superior ID resolution and matching capabilities. This allows us to consolidate media logs from diverse sources, providing our clients with comprehensive reports for precise cross-channel comparisons.

As advertisers navigate the complexities of the TV measurement landscape in 2024, using the capabilities of identity graphs like Experian’s will be essential for driving effective cross-channel advertising strategies and maximizing ROI.

How Experian supports TV measurement

Experian has been in the TV measurement space for decades and offers flexible attribution reports that can attribute media spend on TV to real actions or outcomes, such as website visits, physical location visits, and online and offline sales. We also have unique data through our automotive and financial databases that can be used for attribution.

Through our Consumer Sync solutions, you can elevate your attribution quality to understand the true path to conversion by linking all digital touchpoints to a single person.

Navigating the next frontier of TV measurement

TV measurement in 2024 presents both challenges and opportunities for understanding audience behaviors and preferences. We anticipate a continued migration toward alternative providers as advertisers seek greater flexibility and accuracy in measurement. We expect a fragmented future for TV measurement, where data sources extend beyond traditional giants like Nielsen to include numerous smaller players. Despite the entrenched role of linear TV measurement, advertisers must adapt to a blend of data from diverse sources to navigate the evolving landscape.

At Experian, we have the solutions to help you tackle 2024 marketing trends and make the most of your consumer marketing data. Our Graph enables seamless tracking across devices and channels, allowing us to implement first-touch, last-touch, and multi-touch attribution models with unparalleled accuracy. By harnessing the capabilities of our Graph, our attribution solutions can assign value to every crucial touchpoint in the customer journey, giving you a more holistic and comprehensive view of your campaign performance.

Connect with an Experian expert to learn more about how we can help you succeed in your marketing efforts.


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