Nielsen adds mobile audiences to Total Ad Ratings reports

Total Ad Ratings will now provide measurement of viewers watching ads on television, smartphones, tablets or computer. (ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images)

Nielsen is enhancing its cross-platform campaign measurement of advertising inventory through the inclusion of mobile and over-the-top (OTT) audiences.

The ratings firms is looking to provide media buyers and sellers with better measurement and monetization of campaigns across TV and digital. That means Nielsen will for the first time include mobile audiences including YouTube within its Total Ad Ratings reporting. The company is also expanding its coverage to include OTT audiences from Digital Ad Ratings. The idea is to allow Total Ad Ratings to compare the performance of ads delivered through TV and digital using comparable metrics based on real people and real data.

Total Ad Ratings will now provide measurement of viewers watching ads on television, smartphones, tablets or computer, as well as viewing across any combination of those platforms, while drawing from Nielsen's National Panel and its Digital Ad Ratings.

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"Providing currency caliber cross-platform audience measurement is core to our mission, and we're excited to enhance our Total Ad Ratings product to do just that," said Amanda Tarpey, senior vice president of Product Leadership for Digital at Nielsen, in a statement. "Whether consumers are streaming from their TV or their smartphones, Nielsen will be able to reflect their ad viewership and incrementality as part of its audience reporting—a major step that will benefit the industry from publishers and platforms to advertisers and agencies."

The enhancement to Nielsen’s audience measurement platform arrives amid a contract dispute between the ratings firm and CBS, which last week lead CBS to publicly criticize Nielsen’s ability to bring its ratings measurement capabilities up to speed with changing consumer behaviors.

“While Nielsen has made some strides in this area, progress has not been what we and many clients would like, and local TV measurement is particularly challenged,” CBS said. “Despite this backdrop, Nielsen continues to use their market power to bundle disparate services and raise prices for services that don’t sufficiently address ongoing changes in the industry.”