Nielsen debuts ‘TV ratings-style’ online ad metrics


The Nielsen Company has unveiled a new tool that will give online advertisers audience or viewer data, similar to that given in television ratings. The research firm will combine data provided by online partners, including Facebook, with representative panel data to develop a Gross Rating Points (GRP) score for individual ads.

It will provide reach, frequency and GRP measures for online advertising campaigns of nearly any size, with reporting available within days after a campaign launch. Procter & Gamble, Verizon Wireless, and major media agencies such as Starcom MediaVest, and Facebook are on board with the system, which is expected to be commercially available in 2011.



How it works:

• At the invitation of a client advertiser or website, Nielsen will request a pixel when a particular display or video advertisement is displayed in a browser.

• These pixels will travel to Nielsen and to approved data contributors - including large web publishers. They will not pass any information about the identity of the user, the website on which the ads appear, the sites the user visits, or the identity of the advertiser.

• Instead, the contributors will provide aggregate-level reports containing reach and frequency information in anonymous age and gender buckets only.

• Nielsen will then use its proprietary technology to combine these reports with data from its TV and online panels, in a single report showing reach, frequency and GRPs for the advertisement.

Accurate measuring of an ad's audience would give advertisers a much more precise way of monitoring its effectiveness. This would, in time, make online media pricing much more efficient.

Currently, media buyers have to base their decisions on cruder measures such as site traffic and click frequency rates.

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