ComScore is launching a new beta program called Campaign Ratings this September that will measure unduplicated audiences across both linear TV and digital platforms. The move will allow comScore to better compete with Nielsen, which has dominated the TV measurement space for over 60 years, and some of the industry’s biggest players are onboard.
Several networks will participate in comScore’s beta program including ABC, CBS, CNN, Disney, Fox, Freeform, GroupM, NBCUniversal, The CW Network, Turner and Viacom. In addition, Hulu will provide streaming measurement of ad campaigns across its platform. Beta partners will help shape the product for future advertisers based on their experiences.
Campaign Ratings is part of a broader company initiative to provide measurement across platforms and content types. Minimizing duplicated reach—that is, when one person is exposed to the same campaign more than once—has proven to be a challenge in maximizing return on investment.
“This is a critical effort, not for the future of television, but for its present,” Bryson Gordon, executive vice president of advanced advertising at Viacom said in a statement. “Closing the cross-platform measurement gap, that once intractable market challenge, with innovation across the industry… will help to propel the industry’s transformation towards new currencies, products and consumer experiences.”
In February, comScore added OTT and console gaming to its available metrics. In its June “State of OTT” report, the company found that two-thirds of OTT audiences are also watching linear TV. Comscore’s growing list of offerings will give it a competitive edge against Nielsen, something that industry players have apparently craved.
Last year, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of TV stations in the US, announced that it would move exclusively to comScore for its measurement needs. The company didn’t keep this sentiment long, however, signing a multi-year contract with Nielsen in February while maintaining an agreement with comScore.
As cord-cutting picks up steam, Cable TV networks are teaming up with OTT providers to retain customers. Both Comcast and Charter Communications—two of the largest cable providers in the US—have integrated services such as Netflix and Hulu into its set-top box offerings.
EMarketer predicts that about 186.7 million adults in the US will watch cable television in 2018, which is 3.8 percent less than last year. Of the major cable operators, satellite providers will suffer the biggest decline due to cord-cutting, according to estimates.
“Industry adoption of new measurement methodologies will be key in keeping up with the changes in consumption of our content,” said Kavita Vazirani, executive vice president of insights and measurement at NBCUniversal in a statement accompanying the comScore news.