US advertisers will spend US$20.57 billion on linear TV at this year’s upfronts, eMarketer estimated in its latest report. According to the researcher, plenty of transactions will be made against Nielsen’s GRP, but advertisers will also use alternatives as “shadow currencies,” applying a test and learn mindset to TV plans.
“Yes, there will be guarantees on an alternate currency in 2022–2023, somewhere, somehow. There’s no doubt in my mind about that,” said Kelly Metz, Managing Director of Advanced TV Activation at Omnicom Media Group, during CIMM's 11th Annual Converged TV Measurement and Data Summit. “But practically speaking, it may not work with every single one of these alternate currency providers. We’re going to look at these numbers and some of them will be wildly off, and we will have concerns and we will not move forward in booking against that,” she added.
In its report, eMarketer says that having multiple operating currencies may provide a more nuanced understanding of the video marketplace. It would also incentivize continued innovation among measurement vendors to ensure solutions evolve at an acceptable pace. On the other hand, buying media across several currencies is inherently more complex. Planning and optimization will also become more challenging.
“One thing’s for sure: the industry is not ready to put all its eggs back in Nielsen’s basket in time for this year’s upfronts. Networks are working with partners on in-house currency initiatives, which aim to facilitate cross-screen, cross-platform measurement for all properties owned and operated by a single entity,” eMarketer’s report notes.
As broadcaster of the 2022 Super Bowl, NBCUniversal has already had a highly publicized chance to prove the value of alternative measurement. According to Nielsen, the telecast averaged 112.3 million viewers across all platforms. NBCUniversal went above and beyond with more comprehensive stats powered by iSpot.tv. By iSpot’s count, this year’s Super Bowl drew 121 million viewers in an average minute —7.7% higher than Nielsen’s figure. iSpot.tv also offered more granular metrics specifically about the ads.
“While several TV measurement solutions have begun MRC accreditation proceedings (or in Nielsen’s case, re-accreditation), it’s highly unlikely that any will be granted accreditation before this year’s upfronts, which means networks and advertisers will have to make it work without that extra assurance,” eMarketer’s report concluded.