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Nielsen expands mobile advertising and program measurement with NBCUniversal pilot

NBCUniversal participated in an exclusive pilot program with Nielsen to better understand how consumers watched the 2014 Winter Olympics across television, online and mobile.

Making a significant push this year for mobile, Nielsen is expanding to measure advertising and programs across platforms, both linear and dynamic ad models. According to Nielsen, digital video viewing saw double-digit growth in 2013, making cross-platform insights valuable for marketers, especially when thinking about marquee events such as the Olympics.

?Given the amount of time consumers spend on their smartphones from daybreak to sundown and the double-digital rise in digital video consumption, mobile offers a significant opportunity for advertisers to connect with their key audiences,? said Chris Louie, vice president of product leadership at Nielsen, New York.

?Media companies are looking at mobile for new advertising models, but also as part of bigger cross-platform campaigns. However, mobile has had a unique set of metrics and a lack of third-party measurement that hindered true cross-platform comparison and investment,? he said.

?The expansion of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to include mobile creates parity across screens, enabling marketers to understand who saw their ads on mobile and then across platforms. Coupled with our extension of TV ratings to include mobile, this opens up insights for both the linear ads prevalent with TV today and dynamically inserted ads. This is a big deal for a relatively nascent platform and has the potential to catapult it into the next level.?

Cross-platform measurement
To further understand consumer exposure to advertising across all NBC Olympics channels, viewing on one screen or multiple, NBCUniversal tapped Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings.

The service combines Nielsen?s ratings reporting with TV rating to deliver substantial reach, frequency and gross rating point measure by age and gender for TV and digital advertising.

The pilot considered five national ad campaigns that ran heavily, and is a preview of the cross-platform measurement capabilities that will be available later this year.

Expansion to mobile
Last month, Nielsen revealed it will launch the final technical trial before expanding the OCR service to mobile this summer.

Video ad firms BrightRoll and TubeMogul are participating in this test and have both been using optical character recognition for the past 18 months.

Nielsen is aiming to provide benchmarks on tracking reach, frequency and GRPs for video. While OCR has been implemented by big league players such as YouTube for desktop video measurement, mobile is still a relatively new area.

Nielsen will approach mobile device tracking similar to the way it measures PC and tablet browsers, which uses a combination of its cross-platforms homes panel with data from third party providers to measure ads across video and digital display.

Measuring audiences on cross-screen is crucial for advertisers to be able to harness increasing mobile video consumption. According to Nielsen?s most recent cross-screen report, the U.S. mobile video audience peaked at 100 million people in the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 80.7 million from only a year ago.

Additionally, the average mobile user time spent consuming video increased 23 percent to one hour and 23 minutes per month. However, traditional TV still trumped mobile at 155.32 minutes per month, a stagnant number for the past year.

?Only time will tell how much marketers are willing to invest in mobile advertising, but we've seen that comprehensive, quality third-party measurement has the potential to drive real dollars to a platform,? Mr. Louie said.

?In the online market, for example, the availability of TV-comparable, third-party metrics has attracted more brand advertising dollars to the space,? he said.

?Today, mobile leaders like Google, Facebook and Apple are clearly going after brand advertisers, telling a cross-platform story to drive investment?but they need measurement to do that effectively.?

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York