Digiday+ Research: Nielsen gets boost in NewFronts, upfront cycle — but Comscore wins as measurement provider

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NewFronts week is coming to a close. And while publishers’ optimism around NewFronts and the TV upfront cycle is somewhat lackluster this year, they still have to tell buyers exactly which measurement providers they’ll be accommodating.

So Digiday+ Research asked 63 publisher professionals about the measurement providers they’re focused on this year.

Digiday’s survey found that Comscore and Nielsen will be the dominant measurement providers during this year’s NewFronts and upfronts — no surprise there. More than half of publishers (54%) said they will accommodate Comscore this year, and nearly half (48%) said they will accommodate Nielsen.

Interestingly, though, those percentages are jumps from last year for both measurement providers. Forty-six percent of publisher pros told Digiday they would accommodate Comscore last year (compared with 54% this year). And only 29% of publishers said they would accommodate Nielsen last year (compared with the much larger 48% who said so this year).

Honorable mention here goes to Oracle Moat. Nearly a quarter of publisher pros (24%) told Digiday they would accommodate the measurement provider this year, up slightly from 19% last year. But Oracle Moat ranked fourth among measurement providers, according to Digiday’s survey.

Third place actually went to the “other” category, which is why we can’t move on without mentioning the percentage of publishers who fall into it. Twenty-seven percent of publisher pros said they will accommodate measurement providers outside of our list during NewFronts and upfronts this year, down slightly from the 30% who said so last year. Some of the other measurement providers publishers said they’ll be accommodating providers that include Google Analytics, Lasso, Experian, Double Verify and Piano.

Beyond just accommodating different measurement providers, Digiday’s survey found that Comscore and Nielsen also account for most publishers’ primary currency for this year’s NewFronts and upfronts cycle.

Thirty-two percent of publisher pros told Digiday that Comsore will be their primary currency during NewFronts and upfronts event this year, down slightly from 36% last year. Just as Nielsen saw a big jump in publishers who will accommodate the measurement provider this year, it also saw a big jump in publishers who will use it as their primary currency. A quarter of publisher pros (25%) said Nielsen will be their primary currency during this year’s NewFronts and upfronts cycle, up from 15% who said so last year.

Oracle Moat also came next behind Comscore and Nielsen in this category, albeit much further behind. Ten percent of publisher pros told Digiday Oracle Moat will be their primary currency during this year’s NewFronts and upfronts event — a negligible difference from the 9% who said so last year.

Again, the “other” category accounted for a significant percentage of publisher respondents to Digiday’s survey when it came to publishers’ primary NewFronts and upfront currency. Twenty-nine percent of publishers said their primary currency would be something other than what was on our list, down a bit from 35% last year.

The weight of the “other” category both here and above goes to show how much is still up in the air when it comes to TV ad measurement and where it will go from here. And one of the most notable responses in the “other” category was a publisher who said their primary currency during NewFronts and the upfronts cycle this year will be “whatever the buyer chooses.”

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