Nielsen ONE Gets Launch Date as Ratings Giant Seeks to Reclaim its Throne

Dan Meier 05 January, 2023 

Measurement giant Nielsen this morning announced a launch date for its cross-platform offering Nielsen ONE Ads. The product will be available in the US on 11th January, providing a deduplicated view of ads across screens: linear, CTV, desktop and mobile.

The system offers measurement of content and ads by the second, as opposed to the industry standard minute level. “This will provide the industry with greater comparably [sic] across television and digital platforms,” the company said.

At launch the system will have an “always on” dashboard, instead of waiting for periodic data drops, and will add advanced audience data and outcome measurement tools later this year. Nielsen ONE’s proprietary ID system will also be augmented by panel data.

“By combining the scale of big data and granular insights from our people-based panel, Nielsen ONE provides comprehensive, representative measurement of ads and content for our clients to transact with confidence,” said Karthik Rao, CEO of audience measurement at Nielsen.

Back in the game?

The arrival of Nielsen ONE has been a long time coming for the ratings firm, whose metrics were considered the industry standard until 2021, when Nielsen lost its Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation after allegedly costing advertisers millions through undercounting.

In November the MRC voted to maintain Nielsen’s suspension, suggesting the company had failed to catch up with changing viewing habits and their impact on video advertising.

When the company was bought out by a private equity group in September, all eyes were on Nielsen ONE, the long-awaited cross-media measurement tool intended to bring the once-ubiquitous ratings back up to speed.

But while the measurement firm worked on bridging its digital and linear metrics, its competitors were stealing a march. Broadcasters struck deals with rival measurement companies – Warner Bros. Discovery with VideoAmp; NBCUniversal with iSpot – trialling the alternative currencies during the 2022 upfronts season.

Don’t count on it

Though no longer the only player in the game, Nielsen does remain the most commonly used currency in US TV trading. And its new product lands in time for the 2023 upfronts, as well as the introduction of advertising on Disney+ and Netflix, which will start using Nielsen ratings this year.

The company therefore hopes to regain its status, arguing that its standing and longevity in the industry (including 100 years’ worth of panel data) gives it the edge over its new competitors.

“Ultimately, Nielsen ONE will allow advertisers and publishers to plan and transact on a single set of metrics across linear and digital,” said Kimberly Gilberti, SVP product management at Nielsen. “And those metrics are reliable, independent, standardised across the industry and across all of those different platforms.”

Despite its entrenchment in the industry, Nielsen’s hopes of standardisation appear less likely as numerous companies move to fill the position it has vacated over the last few years. With more options at the table than before the pandemic, Nielsen ONE is looking more like one of many.

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