Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Nielsen Launches 'Impressions First' Initiative

Nielsen announced today that it will take the lead on an "Impressions First Initiative" to support an industry-wide move to impressions-based buying and selling in local markets across the country. 

The move to impressions will occur in conjunction with the integration of broadband only homes (BBO) into Nielsen's local measurement metrics in January 2022. The move to an impressions-based currency will deliver a more complete, precise and representative audience measurement, along with the added benefit of enabling cross-platform audience measurement. In today's fragmented media landscape, the move to impressions lays the groundwork for implementing Nielsen ONE across local, national, and digital measurement.

The inclusion of BBO homes will enable the industry to rapidly transition to trading on impressions. Impressions represent all viewers regardless of platform—which is especially important given the significant and growing penetration of BBO homes in local markets. For more than two years, Nielsen has been working with the media and advertising industries in preparation for the inclusion of broadband-only homes in Local TV measurement for its 56 LPM and Set Meter markets.

David Kenny
"Nielsen is committed to measuring all audiences and the complete video consumption across the local marketplace," said David Kenny, CEO of Nielsen. "Impressions are the great equalizer across all screens, programs, listeners and viewers. Nielsen's move to prioritize reporting impressions will help standardize the way it measures ads and content, enabling greater comparability across National, Local and Digital and is in line with Nielsen's initiative to drive comparable metrics which are foundational to Nielsen ONE."

Nexstar Media Group, Inc., the country's largest local broadcasting group, fully supports the move to impressions-based measurement:

"We believe the move to impressions and the integration of BBO homes into local measurement metrics is critical to making sure that every viewer is counted," said Perry Sook, Chairman and CEO, Nexstar Media Group, Inc. "It also enables buyers and sellers to make comparisons across all video across platforms, gives them the most complete view of audience consumption and behavior, and facilitates automated buying." 

"Agencies and advertisers are eager for Nielsen to incorporate BBO homes into local TV samples beginning January 2022," said Bernie Shimkus, VP, Director of Research & Consumer Insights, Harmelin Media. "Over the years, the number of BBO homes has more than tripled in the U.S. from about 3% in 2015 and now accounts for at least 20% of local TV homes today.  The inclusion of BBO homes is essential to local TV measurement and will also facilitate the move to impressions-based buying of local TV."

Nielsen, which had previously announced a BBO implementation date of October 2021, made the final decision to begin implementation in January 2022 in response to industry requests. The new timing will enable Nielsen to publish an official BBO UE that will be audited and reviewed by the Media Rating Council (MRC). In addition to delivering one month of impact data, a January implementation will include all BBO homes. Adding BBO homes will increase reporting sample sizes significantly and capture impressions that may be missing, especially for sports and OTT.

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