The Currency Council was created to make TV advertising more fair and transparent by setting prices. It is made up of advertisers who are paying a fee in order to participate in “alternative” viewing guarantees with NBCU (the network).

These guarantees are designed to help advertisers get the best value for their advertising dollars by providing them with protection against audience erosion due to new technologies like streaming and mobile devices.

NBCUniversal has been leading the charge in arguing that traditional TV measurement leader Nielsen does not accurately account for viewers shifting away from live broadcasts and towards online streaming.

A Senior Executive at NBCUniversal, who was not authorized to speak to the press, told ADOTAT “This is really simple. Neilsen has been the monopoly—and taken advantage of that position by overcharging.”

Another executive said that NBCUniversal had been “working for years” to convince Nielsen and its clients that the company is not able to properly measure TV viewership across all screens. He said that NBCUniversal has tried everything from “substantive conversations with Nielsen” to threats of creating their own system. Which they sure did.

Nielsen, the industry’s largest measurement company, lost its third-party accreditation in 2021. Last week, Nielsen was stripped of Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation—a move that makes it difficult for brands to use viewership numbers generated by Nielsen when making media buys or planning promotional strategies.

iSpot was the first company to receive NBCU certification as an alternative to Nielsen, measuring audience in a currency-grade fashion.

“These innovative advertisers have come to the table and they have agreed to transact with us on real dollars,” said Kelly Abcarian, evp, measurement and impact, advertising and partnerships, during a press event Tuesday afternoon. “As we continue to drive toward and multicurrency future, alongside our clients we will usher in better measurement that delivers unified, exact, second by second cross-platform currency across all NBCU properties.”

The council will also look ahead to 2022-2023, “when NBCU expects that its preferred alternative measurement partners for cross-platform ‘currency’ will have been certified,” per NBCU’s press release.

For years, marketers and television ad buyers have been seeking alternatives to Nielsen’s dominance over TV viewing data—particularly as more people watch television across multiple screens and in ways that are increasingly difficult for the company (and others) to monitor.

NBCUniversal is offering advertisers programmatic buying on Peacock and its other digital platforms — including NBCU’s own AX ad platform, which powers the company’s digital video service — as well as third-party DSPs like Beeswax and The Trade Desk.

NBCUniversal, which owns several sports leagues and has more live-sports content than any other streaming service.

Beginning in the fourth quarter of this year, advertisers could purchase Peacock programmatically and include future broadcasts of World Cup soccer matches as well as Olympic events.

NBCUniversal’s first-party identity platform for consumers, NBCUnified—which identifies people and households across the media giant’s portfolio of brands including NBC, Telemundo and USA Network (among others)—claims that it has now surpassed 200 million person-level IDs as well 100 million household level identities.

NBCUniversal offers advertisers a way to reach audiences based on more than 1,200 attributes associated with cable TV channels and shows.

Paramount is collaborating with VideoAmp and Dentsu on data trials this quarter, and it’s also exploring alternative currencies to Nielsen.

 In response, Comscore has created its own unified measurement offering—Comscore Everywhere —to compete with Neilsen’s forthcoming Nielsen One. Its goal is to offer clients an alternative solution to the traditional approach of using separate metrics for online and offline businesses.

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