Nielsen sells TV pilot testing services to Stagwell

Business executives shaking hands
Stagwell intends to roll the Nielsen services into its National Research Group. (Getty/Martin Barraud)

Investment firm Stagwell Group is buying Nielsen’s pilot testing services and the promotional testing and consumer tracking of those pilots.

Stagwell intends to roll the services into its National Research Group, its entertainment research firm specializing in global research and consultation to the film, gaming and OTT industries.

"In the last seven years, the number of original scripted shows created has doubled. This acquisition puts us at the epicenter of data-driven consultation for original programming," said Mark Penn, managing partner and president of The Stagwell Group, in a statement.


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The pilot testing services will fall under the purview of Jon Penn, CEO of the National Research Group.

"The future of original content is to experience it anytime, anywhere, on any screen," said Jon Penn in a statement. "Adding this deep expertise in episodic content and program testing expands upon our strategic mission to provide insights to bold storytellers everywhere."

RELATED: Nielsen completes acquisition of metadata provider Gracenote

For Nielsen, the breakoff of its pilot testing service comes not long after the ratings firm added a significant piece with its acquisition of metadata provider Gracenote. The move is intended to give Nielsen better analytics on consumer behavior and offer new views of audience engagement from discovery to consumption. Nielsen is integrating Gracenote’s metadata into its Total Audience measurement framework.

"Bringing Gracenote under the Nielsen umbrella creates an industry-leading media discovery, metadata and measurement business strongly positioned as the market shifts to greater personalization," said Karthik Rao, president of Expanded Verticals at Nielsen, in a statement. "This acquisition combines Nielsen's audience measurement and analytics with Gracenote's data and technology, providing clients with deeper resources to capture consumer engagement across the evolving content ecosystem."

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