WarnerMedia tests new currencies with media buyer IPG Mediabrands


WarnerMedia enlisted ad-buying giant IPG Mediabrands’ Magna unit to help test alternative measurement data from Comscore, iSpot.TV and VideoAmp in the second quarter ahead of the start.

TV measurement leader Nielsen took its toll in 2022 as it was found to have underestimated ratings during the pandemic and the Media Rating Council withdrew its accreditation from Nielsen’s national rating service .

This opened a window of opportunity for potential alternatives to Nielsen as networks and media buyers began to look more seriously at using their data as a currency to buy and sell ads.

NBCUniversal issued RFPs for measurement companies and got about 120 responses. He recently identified an initial group of companies he intended to work with, including iSpot. NBCU and ad agency Publicis ran a test of iSpot during the first quarter, measuring ads in big-budget programs, including the Olympics and the Super Bowl.

Also: NBCU recognizes more measurement companies as Nielsen alternatives

In January, WarnerMedia announced it would work with Comscore, iSpot and VideoAmp. Discovery and Paramount are among those making similar moves.

During March Madness, televised by WarnerMedia’s Turner Sports, with Paramount’s CBS Sports, WarnerMedia and Paramount worked together to test and learn how measurement systems from Comscore, iSpot and VideoAmp would perform during this big event.

All of this activity takes place as time passes in the initial market. Time is also running out for Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia.

Also: Ad industry seeks alternatives after Nielsen loses stamp of approval

“As we prepare for Upfront 2022, we are committed to developing a broader portfolio of measurement solutions for our customers and partners,” said JP Colaco, president of advertising sales at WarnerMedia. “This test and learn with Magna is one of the first steps in realizing our goal of offering best-in-class measurement capabilities and providing greater visibility of return on ad spend on our award-winning IP.”

WarnerMedia and IPG will implement alternative metrics for certain product categories and advertisers to assess the application of currencies that use big data to estimate audiences.

“The shift to impression-based multi-screen video transactions is imminent, so we look forward to seeing these measurement solutions in action and understanding how this paradigm shift can create new value for our customers,” said Brian Hughes. , Executive Vice President and General Manager. director, audience intelligence and strategy at Magna.

Magna is also testing an early version of Nielsen’s new system for measuring ads, Nielsen One for Advertisers, with The Walt Disney Co.

“This is an extremely important moment in time in media and the initiative between WarnerMedia and IPG Mediabrands is proof that the industry not only needs accurate and reliable cross-platform measurement, but also a solution reliable enough to support transactions across the entire media ecosystem,” said Bryan Goski, vice president, enterprise solutions, VideoAmp.

“VideoAmp is thrilled to work in conjunction with these two historic brands on this unprecedented opportunity. In doing so, we believe our money-grade data can help bring value to media buyers and sellers and drive revenue gains. efficiencies that ultimately create a better media experience for consumers,” Goski said.

WarnerMedia said this will be the first of several planned trials and aims to provide the foundation for more informed media planning and buying, and understanding how to deduplicate in order to calculate campaign reach and frequency. on linear and CTV.

Andrea Zapata, head of research, data and insights who handles text for WarnerMedia, said neither the company nor the media buyers she works with want to rush into using new data from technology companies. alternative measures because the stakes for ad revenue are so high. .

“There was kind of a rush to say we’re going to do deals or we’re going to select one partner over another,” she said. Broadcast + Cable. “We found that important, and the agencies we were with were also very clear, they don’t necessarily want to go with one vendor. They don’t know what they don’t know. And to be fair, here at WarnerMedia, we don’t know either.

Zapata said the test will aim to measure campaigns aimed at targeted audiences, rather than traditional demographics.

She added that it took some time to find a media buying partner willing to participate in the test, but Mediabrands has been a long-time user of WarnerMedia’s Audience Now ad targeting system.

The test and learn program began with advertising campaigns launched on March 28. WarnerMedia and Magna plan to do mid-campaign analysis and post-campaign analysis to see what kind of data they get from the new measurement companies.

WarnerMedia is unlikely to pick a single vendor for this upfront or in the future, Zapata said. Nielsen is also in on it, although not involved in this test-and-learn purpose, because buyers and sellers are already very familiar with what Nielsen is currently producing.

“Their data has been flowing through our pipe since the dawn of time,” she said. “He has the only measurement and the only currency that has literally flowed through our stewardship systems, determining how we create our estimates and how we go to market and ultimately how advances are traded, and we know where the gaps are and we know where the gaps are.

New measurement companies say they can fill these gaps. Tests will show how well they do.

Ultimately, WarnerMedia plans to share its test results with the industry to help develop a standard.

“We’re going to do a global learning and we’ll share it with the market and we’ll share it with our agencies and tweak from there,” Zapata said. “But it’s not a one-and-done. This is an iterative process. ■

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