Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) today announced sweeping changes to its digital measurement methodology, ushering in a new era of privacy-centric measurement that provides comparable, cross-platform metrics for both marketers and publishers. As part of the transformation of its measurement, Nielsen is reimagining its offerings to ensure it has flexibility to adapt to ongoing changes in the technology and privacy landscape.

The digital ecosystem is in a state of flux with evolving restrictions on consumer consent and decreasing reliance on cookies. Under these conditions, digital companies are implementing new privacy safeguards that are requiring workflow redesigns and different approaches to coordination with data partners. With Nielsen’s new methodology announced today, media owners will be able to better monetize their assets, optimize their spend and make comparisons across media. In addition, media buyers will benefit from the ability to validate cross-platform campaign delivery and confidently make guarantees based on the trusted Nielsen TV ratings data that the industry trades on today.

“Over the last year, we’ve been laser focused on transitioning Nielsen to become a platform company. With a privacy-centric lens, we are creating a flexible platform that we can adapt to new technology, data and regulatory changes,” said Karthik Rao, Chief Operating Officer of Nielsen. “We believe these changes will also position our clients to monetize their assets today and well into the future. We expect these investments to drive significant value for the rapidly growing digital ecosystem.”

Nielsen’s ownership of the technology stack, back-end infrastructure and data sources will enable the company to move swiftly to launch new products, feature sets and data insights that maintain the quality and continuity of its measurement services and future proof its digital business. Additionally, as Nielsen combines television and digital data assets onto a single platform, Nielsen can more efficiently provide holistic measurement across all premium video, which is becoming increasingly important to advertisers and the industry.

“Nielsen’s transformation of its digital methodology is essential to providing the industry with cross-media measurement that empowers buyers and sellers to optimize their spend,” said Mainak Mazumdar, Chief Data and Research Officer at Nielsen. “We are creating the foundation that will allow us to continue to instill confidence, deliver comparability and enable coverage in a cookieless future.”

This new digital methodology will ensure that Nielsen can provide comparability and transparency across third-parties and the open web; broaden coverage and deepen granularity of reporting of personal and connected devices; and foster more resilience in measurement by reducing reliance on third-parties and unreliable digital identifiers. Nielsen’s Digital Measurement suite, including Digital Content Ratings, Total Content Ratings, Digital in TV Ratings, Digital Ad Ratings and Total Ad Ratings, will be underpinned by:

  • Nielsen’s gold-standard media panel truth sets, census data collection technology, proprietary bias correction and calibration models and diverse third party partner assets.
  • A proprietary network of walled gardens and platform data providers, with a global footprint that taps into rich audience data to capture volumetrics and demographics
  • A large ecosystem of publishers across the open web with scaled data, augmented with Nielsen verified demographics; and
  • Novel privacy-centric audience deduplication methodologies

The new methodology will be rolled out in phases to ensure continuity of measurement to its clients beginning in early 2021.