Nielsen buys Sorenson Media for $11.25M to strengthen addressable ad position

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In addition to Sorenson Media and Gracenote, Nielsen also recently acquired smart TV software firm Qterics. (Getty/FS-Stock)

Nielsen is moving beyond TV ratings to stake a claim in the addressable TV advertising market, and the company is acquiring Sorenson Media for $11.25 million to help it get there.

In coordination with the acquisition, Nielsen is launching Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, a new product that will focus on addressable advertising for smart TVs. Sorenson Media’s addressable TV ad platform will be integrated with Nielsen’s Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, acquired through Gracenote.

“It’s clear that a significant portion of TV advertising will be addressable long into the future,” said David Kenny, CEO of Nielsen, in a statement. “With the continued evolution of our Total Audience measurement, underpinned by decades of trust, transparency and independence, it was evident that we needed to bring our unique set of technology assets and talent to tackle the greatest challenges the TV advertising industry is facing. And with the Sorenson Media acquisition, we can create improved value and efficiency across the entire media chain—from ad targeting and delivery to measurement and attribution—and make addressable TV more of a reality."

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In addition to Sorenson Media and Gracenote, Nielsen also recently acquired smart TV software firm Qterics. Nielsen is building toward selling targeted advertising on a per-user and per-household basis.

Nielsen began an addressable TV pilot in multiple markets late last year. In November, the company announced A+E Networks and smart TV chipmaker MediaTek were both joining the company’s dynamic ad insertion tests. CBS had already signed on for the trials.

“Nielsen recognizes the huge opportunity addressable TV presents for our clients,” said Kelly Abcarian, senior vice president of product leadership for Nielsen, in a statement. “So, we’ve worked hard to create an advanced DAI solution that covers everything from ad targeting to delivery. As the result of our expanded DAI pilot with leading smart TV platforms and manufacturers and some of the largest broadcast and cable networks, marketers will be able to better realize the value of their advertising inventory, achieve maximum return on their ad spend and viewers will see messages that are most relevant to them.”