With Mediaocean's buying software in place with agencies for both display and TV, plus with FreeWheel's ability to transfer video from TV to digital, Nielsen will provide the measurement option.
Or, as Aol's SVP of video Ran Harnevo awkwardly calls it, "visurement." [Correction: This last line was misheard-DK]
"If we want TV to get closer to the web, we have to measure both the same way," Harnevo told the midtown crowd at the Moynihan Station, the huge event space adjoining the city's main post office.
John Burbank, Nielsen's president of Strategic Initiatives, was then called to stage. He said, "We will measure Aol's video content in an overnight fashion, just like we do for TV, so advertisers and agencies can understand who's watching."
Nielsen will measure every Aol video impression in a way intended to be comparable to TV. Still, this is just another step in Aol's video ad sales strategy and not a game-changer, as comScore already provides a similar metric. But given Nielsen's position as the standard for TV, Aol's declaration that this could become the new standard for online video isn't as far-fetched as it sounds.
Aol as the "new TV" was embedded in practically every presentation. And in some ways, given the similar TV-centric ambitions that Yahoo projected at its NewFront the night before, there is a recognition – if not a resignation – that online video values of "watching what you want, whenever you want" may be the rule for all content consumption now and in the future. However, when it comes to content quality, ad delivery and measurement, TV continues to be king.
That sentiment was brought home in a brief appearance by another new Aol partner, Mark Cuban, whose AXS TV cable network will be the terrestrial home for HuffPost Live, the portal's 12-hour news webcast.
"Eighteen years ago, when we started AudioNet to stream live, I thought TV was going to be dead in a few years," Cuban said. "But it's not. What changed? Social media. We started telling each other what we were watching. Social media drives TV and TV drives social media. You can't just be on mobile. You can't just be on a tablet. You're going to watch what you want on whatever's the best screen. And TV is the best screen and it's more alive than ever before."