Kantar Media, well known for its international audience measurement business, has announced a restructuring in which branding will be unified so that all divisions, like Millward Brown (a market research firm), will carry the same name. The company will also move away from dividing operations according to specialty—like ad intelligence and market research—and toward a single-country model, according to Ad Exchanger. Doing so will increase visibility and make it easier to consolidate data from the various cross-company resources and integrate it with client first-party data.
In addition to its restructuring announcement, Kantar also is working on enabling audience measurement tools to tag a player and overlay local demographic data. The player data will then be linked back to panel data. The plan is to extend this to total video, which includes the likes of YouTube and Dailymotion.
This effort forms part of a deal with comScore announced 18 months ago—by the time comScore acquired Rentrak, Kantar had already combined its U.S. measurement business with Rentrak’s, opting for a minority stake in the company. The three have formed a global cross-platform measurement alliance, Andy Brown, chairman and CEO of Kantar Media, told Ad Exchanger. “I think there’s opportunity there to leverage Rentrak’s set-top box data with comScore’s digital panel data, census data, and possibly more data sources,” he said.
Some cable operators continue to hold onto set-top box data, however, though Brown predicts this will change in the next 12 to 24 months. He added that set-top box data is not the be-all and end-all: Together with comScore-Rentrak, Kantar can combine portable people meter data and purchase data, for example. “The real value sometimes comes from [co-mingling] data,” he said.
Nielsen and comScore Not Standing Still
Meanwhile, comScore has announced Xmedia, which will provide person-level reporting across screens. It will measure across all connected devices in a home and link advanced demographics to programming, mobile app use, and website visits.
For its part, Nielsen is not standing idly by. The company has announced Total Audience, which will combine cross-screen viewership data—including digital video, set-top box VOD, and DVR viewing—with traditional television ratings. Advertisers will see how their own campaigns performed and receive an overview of viewing data across the board.
Ratings firms across the board are finding themselves in a cycle of updates and advancements as audience behaviors and viewing habits continue to shift—and this fragmentation is only expected to grow in 2017. The good news is that this trend opens up more opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers, particularly if they use tools like a programmatic platform to unify strategy across digital and television. To take full advantage, however, audience measurement must include all media. The more data available, after all, the better the results these platforms can produce.