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Online publishers adopt Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings, with sights on TV dollars

Recently, many online publishers woke up to welcome news, with vast jumps in the size of their estimated audiences.

For example, Australia’s Daily Mail more than doubled its audience in the space of two months.

This happened because of a change in Nielsen methodology, to the relatively new Digital Content Ratings (DCR) system. The old system failed to properly capture mobile audiences and those on Google AMP pages, Nielsen admitted.

Using the new DCR methodology, Nielsen discovered that many of the top publishers have audiences that are millions bigger than it previously thought.

“What we’ve launched is really about expanding the coverage of mobile and adding off-platform measurement,” Nielsen Media’s managing director, Monique Perry said.

“That’s at the heart of what we’re trying to layer into the measurement is an expansion of coverage and that enables us to report back the complete audience for all our publishers.”

According to Nielsen, Digital Content Ratings responds to the shifting, complex multi-platform, multi-device and multi-distribution landscape by providing comprehensive measurement of digital content consumption—including streaming video, static web pages and mobile apps—across all major devices and platforms.

Earlier this week, Insider Inc. announced that it is partnering with Nielsen to more accurately measure its audience across platforms.

As an asideBusiness Insider recently introduced Insider Inc., a new corporate identity that houses the publication, digital verticals, BI Intelligence, the conference series IGNITION and anything the company engages in. 

Insider Inc. is partnering with Nielsen to make its audience numbers even more accurate by applying Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR) to its portfolio of more than a dozen Business Insider editions and Insider.

“Accurately measuring the size of our audience across the many platforms where our content appears has become increasingly challenging,” says Jennifer Tonti, Director of Research at Insider Inc. That’s why Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR) is so helpful – and timely. DCR is a more comprehensive measurement of audiences’ content consumption across digital devices and platforms and helps us get closer than ever to more accurately capture the full scope of our audience.”

According to Nielsen, Insider Inc.’s audience is significantly larger than was revealed by other audience measurement tools, placing it among the top five biggest media properties when looking at tagged daily and monthly video views.

Digital is the new primetime TV, and our goal is to be ready for the radical shift in how video ads will be purchased as well as consumed.

“Digital is the new primetime TV, and our goal is to be ready for the radical shift in how video ads will be purchased as well as consumed,” said Pete Spande, Chief Revenue Officer at Insider Inc. “Linear TV continues to lose ground as new audiences are accustomed to viewing the content they want in a new way.”

No third-party measurement firm may dominate digital video transactions the way Nielsen does for linear television, but some buyers see momentum building behind DCR for digital video, Digiday reports.

“It looks like Nielsen’s going to win that battle,” said Chris Wexler, SVP of Media and Analytics at Cramer-Krasselt. “They had a lot of built-in, institutional power behind it, the comfort of many clients and agencies.”

Nielsen is working with several major digital publishers—including BuzzFeed, Group Nine Media, Mic, Refinery29 and VIX—to learn more about the audiences that engage with their content day-to-day, helping them to put the pieces of the consumer picture together for the first time using measurement metrics that are comparable to those used to measure TV audiences.

“Delivering syndicated Digital Content Ratings is a tremendous milestone and provides publishers, agencies and advertisers powerful insights that help them understand the full value of their content across digital platforms,” said Megan Clarken, President of Product Leadership, Nielsen.

This is the next step in the transformation of measurement as we know it.

In the meantime, money is leaking out of linear television. According to research by Magna Global, the global TV ad market is projected to grow slightly in 2018, to $185 billion. Without tent-pole events like the World Cup and US midterm elections, the market is essentially flat and, in the U.S., down 1.4%.

With DCR, media sellers can reduce ad waste and drive revenue growth by effectively monetizing their inventory across platforms for content with ads that do not match linear television ads and content with no ads at all, says Nielsen.

With clear insight into actual consumption trends, media buyers can drive better outcomes for advertisers by purchasing in-demand inventory across platforms with confidence.

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