Video Advertising Bureau reveals measurement task force with NBCU on board

(Credit: Getty Images)
(Credit: Getty Images)

The broadcaster trade group wants to accelerate innovation in measurement after Nielsen’s snafus.

The Video Advertising Bureau (VAB) on Thursday revealed a Measurement Innovation Task Force that has been working to accelerate advancements in TV measurement.

While the task force has been working to advance the conversation about measurement over the past year, it now has formal support from NBCUniversal and a mandate to actively collaborate in industry initiatives, including the Association of National Advertisers’ cross-media measurement initiative, OpenAP’s OpenID, and NBCU’s new Measurement Innovation Forum.

“It formally puts the fully ‘open for urgent business sign’ on the door of this taskforce, which has been working well for a while,” aid Sean Cunningham, president and CEO of the VAB

The task force will consist of research, analytics and insights folks from VAB member companies, which include large broadcasters.

“The time for action and innovation on measurement is now,” Cunningham said in a press statement. “Our role will be to immediately plug directly into a range of cross-industry initiatives.”

The announcement comes weeks after Nielsen, the de facto currency underpinning the $70 billion U.S. TV advertising market, had its accreditation suspended by the Media Ratings Council, the independent watchdog that ensures fair and accurate media measurement. The decision came after Nielsen proactively asked to have its accreditation put on hiatus after undercounting households during the pandemic.

In August, NBCUniversal put out an RFP to more than 50 measurement providers, including Nielsen, and called for “measurement independence,” declaring it would no longer rely on one partner for measurement. On Thursday, the broadcaster revealed more than 80 marketers submitted proposals and NBCU will reveal its new measurement roster in late September or early October, according to a spokesperson.

According to a blog post from Kelly Abcarian, EVP, measurement & impact, advertising & partnerships, at NBCUniversal, the VAB Measurement Innovation Task Force will “convene and represent media companies in conversations around the future of measurement.”

The task force will also support and participate in NBCU’s Measurement Innovation Forum, which will bring together brands, holding companies, trade associations and networks to collaborate on the future of measurement. NBCUniversal will announce the specific companies involved at the Advertising Research Foundation conference, but said that all of the major holding companies and brands from the auto, beverage, CPG, pharma, retail and beauty industries are on board.

Abcarian also laid out specific actions the forum will focus on in the coming months, including creating interoperability across multiple measurement providers; creating industry best practices and frameworks for measurement; and figuring out how to scale new measurement solutions around growing populations and trends, including multicultural groups, streamers and a shift toward premium content.   

“We’re excited to do our part in building the future of measurement with the entire industry – because, after all, measurement is a team sport,” she wrote.

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