NBCUniversal to select multiple measurement providers; Nielsen submits a pitch

The media company is reviewing more than 70 responses, expected to conclude in September.

NBCUniversal will select more than one measurement provider in its review process, the media company confirmed.

On Monday, NBCUniversal launched a measurement RFP after its current provider, Nielsen, requested its third service hiatus in under a year. In its announcement, NBCUniversal called for “measurement independence” and invited other media owners to launch a similar effort. 

The company sent the RFPs to 54 partners with 80% confirming participation by the August 23rd deadline, an NBCUniversal spokesperson said. 

Since then, NBCUniversal has received more than 70 responses, according to a LinkedIn post made Friday by Kelly Abcarian, EVP of measurement and impact at NBCUniversal. Nielsen was among the firms to submit a pitch, both companies confirmed. New submissions also include IBM with Watson AI, Thinking Right, Reelgood, EntTelligence and RelishMix.

“Establishing new standards to measure and value content, and accurately reflect consumer behavior across all screens, will completely reshape the entire ad industry,” Abcarian said in an email. “That’s why we’re working across the full industry to build something that marketers and publishers can trust. Because when we explore, evaluate and expand the possibilities of multiple data partners with trust, and shared values, that’s how we create the measurement future both audiences and advertisers deserve.”

NBCUniversal expects to wrap up the review process the week of September 20 and will begin data integration with its new partners in the six months following its conclusion. 

Nielsen is currently the measurement firm for major networks including NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox. In previous months, however, the networks have expressed grievances it was no longer accurately measuring its performance. For media buyers and planners, the review introduces complexities as companies determine how to work with new measurement partners. 

Regarding the review, Nielsen told Campaign US: “We can confirm we submitted a proposal to NBCU and look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship."

Essence Global and Group M did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication. 


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