Disney taps Nielsen to measure online ratings

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) said it will use Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to manage demographic guarantees for online ad campaigns for its ABC, ABC Family and ESPN business units. The selection comes after "more than six months of extensive testing" and "is based on the solutions' Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation, unique methodology, expansive samples and evolving measurement capabilities," the two companies said in a press release.

The deal is multi-faceted, with each network taking a slightly different approach to the issue. ABC is making the information a key component of its "ABC Unified" solution, which lets marketers buy content across TVs, computers, tablets and phones "with a single demographic audience guarantee." ABC Family will use the information to provide demographic audiences guarantees for online video deals and ESPN will use it "for select clients," the press release said.

In any event, it's evidence that Disney is interested in selling across multiple screens and that advertisers want to know what they're buying.

"Measuring online and on-demand video audiences is complex and finding an approach that balances the existing TV business and emerging 'screen agnostic' worlds is increasingly important," Geri Wang, ABC's sales president, said in the press release. "Viewers are watching increasing amounts of our content on more screens and we have to manage that across a variety of technology platforms, operating systems and distribution relationships while also accommodating the transition to dynamic ad impression delivery."

Nielsen, which has announced plans to vigorously patrol the online video viewing space, will also get help from ABC's three units in dealing with the whole multiscreen space.

"Disney and ESPN are regularly at the forefront of innovation, pushing the boundaries of understanding consumers and getting those insights into the hands of their advertisers," Steve Hasker, president of global product leadership at Nielsen, said.

This isn't the first time the parties have worked together. Last year, ABC and Nielsen said they were working to develop a custom tablet measurement panel and consumer insights to connect media exposure with purchase behavior.

For more:
- Disney and Nielsen issued this press release

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Nielsen to look at online video viewing
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