Nielsen and Adobe revealed a partnership Tuesday designed to combine Nielsen’s digital audience measurement products with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Primetime, the company’s platform for online TV delivery and monetization, making both available to joint Nielsen/Adobe clients through Adobe Marketing Cloud.
The result is Digital Content Ratings (DCR), a cross-platform census-based metric that aims to do for digital media what Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) does for advertising initiatives or what its TV ratings do for broadcast TV.
To that end, DCR looks at digital media consumption across online TV, video, games, audio or text via all the digital content usual suspects – desktop, mobile, game consoles or over-the-top (OTT) boxes, like Roku, Apple TV or Google TV.
Joint Adobe/Nielsen clients ESPN, Sony Pictures, Turner Broadcasting, Univision and Viacom are taking part in the DCR beta test. Nielsen and Adobe expect to make the product generally available in 2015, although which quarter remains to be seen, Ashley Still, Adobe’s senior director of product management, told AdExchanger.
The plan is to enable customers to use their existing Adobe Analytics website and app tags to measure their digital content, and to integrate the DCR measurement SDK directly into their video player if they have one.
Lynda Clarizio, Nielsen’s president of US media, said she sees DCR as “a complement to OCR.”
“It’s the digital version of TV ratings,” Clarizio said. “OCR is dynamic campaign measurement – this is dynamic content measurement. Both are separate from the television ratings, yet all three are complementary. We used the same methodology in coming up with DCR as we used in coming up with OCR.”
That methodology centers on the need to create what Still termed “a single source of truth.” As more consumers do their consuming online, it only makes sense to look at web analytics in the context of audience ratings. One hand needs to know what the other is doing – as well as when, where and how.
In other words, it’s the aggregation of census-based web analytics data with anonymized audience viewing behavior into a single meaningful rating that advertisers, media companies and publishers can use to inform their media buying and selling strategies.
The Adobe Marketing Cloud integration will also permit users to look at their other marketing efforts through the DCR lens.
“It goes beyond a broad digital rating,” Still said. “Let’s say you did a search campaign. You want to know if that resulted in traffic for your site. Did people engage with your content? You’ll be able to look at those analytics within the context of the [digital content] ratings.”
As video consumption habits fragment, measurement shouldn’t follow suit, she added.
Speaking of fragmentation, according to Adobe’s newest video benchmark report, released Tuesday, online TV consumption is up 388% year over year. Not to mention that game consoles and OTT devices saw a nearly 200% increase in market share, now representing 10% of all online TV consumption – vs. 3% last year.
“Simply put, we’re trying to develop an easy way to do cross-platform measurement in a world where consumers are consuming much of their video viewing across multiple platforms – and that’s not easy,” said Cardizio. “One big pain point is connecting site analytics and audience measurement. Right now, those two things have been completely divorced from each other.”
Powered by Adobe, Nielsen’s DCR has the potential to change that, Still said.
"Adobe and Nielsen are both trusted names and together we believe we can reduce the headache of implementation," Still said. "And that means true cross-platform measurement aligned around a single number."