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Nielsen transforms linear TV measurement with new individual commercial metrics in lead up to Nielsen ONE

5 minute read | November 2021

Expanded Relationship with Extreme Reach enables Nielsen to efficiently watermark the vast majority of national linear TV commercials

New York – Nov. 22, 2021 –  Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) announced that it will enhance its National television measurement by measuring viewing in a more precise manner, allowing for a future where audience estimates are based on individual ads rather than commercial minutes. The enhancement to Nielsen Individual Commercial Metrics will help pave the way for true comparability across the digital and linear platforms and comes following a series of tech, measurement and methodology advancements as Nielsen continues to make progress in its delivery of Nielsen ONE, its cross-platform measurement solution. 

With more precise commercial measurement, agencies, advertisers and brands will have the unprecedented ability to directly compare, plan and optimize ad campaign performance over both digital platforms and linear TV.  

Nielsen has expanded its relationship with Extreme Reach, the global leader in creative logistics, allowing for an efficient way of encoding the vast majority of all national linear TV commercials with Nielsen’s watermarks, which will launch in the first half of 2022. Extreme Reach’s end-to-end technology platform moves creative at the speed of media, simplifying the activation and optimization of omnichannel campaigns for brands and agencies with unparalleled control, visibility and insights. 

“We’re very pleased to collaborate with Nielsen on this important step in improving workflow efficiency for marketing teams, which has been at the core of our mission at Extreme Reach for over a decade. As the source of creative assets for the majority of brands, including over 90 of the Ad Age 100, ER is uniquely positioned to enable measurement of those assets at greater scale. Nielsen’s ongoing efforts to embrace the morphing worlds of linear and digital TV now provide a means for marketers and their agencies to understand and value digital and linear TV commercials in a directly comparable way, which is a distinct improvement for the industry,” said Gaurav Agarwal, Chief Operating Officer at Extreme Reach. 

While the industry currently transacts on Nielsen’s “C3” metric, based on the average of all commercial minutes in a program, Nielsen’s new Individual Commercial Metrics reporting capability will enable the measurement of linear television at a “subminute” level and audience estimates at a level of granularity that is more comparable to digital. Providing comparability in this manner paves the way for Nielsen ONE to provide something long sought after as an industry imperative—true deduplication across platforms. 

“Giving the industry true, trusted metrics that offer harmonization across platforms is the bedrock to revolutionizing the cross-media buying and selling process and a foundational step toward Nielsen ONE,” said Kim Gilberti, SVP Product Management, Nielsen. “By transforming our TV measurement and moving to Individual Commercial Metrics, both media buyers and sellers will be able to maximize the value of their inventory as well as capitalize and drive return on investment of their advertising spend across the rapidly converging traditional and digital landscapes.”

As a first step in this plan, in early 2022 Nielsen will enhance its process for collecting and crediting watermarks, enabling the detection of watermarks more frequently within a given minute, allowing for credit of shorter duration events, such as individual ads. This change will give sellers the unique ability to utilize Nielsen’s reporting to properly value their commercial inventory—from pricing to placement.

For the first time, Nielsen’s television measurement will also leverage Gracenote Content Signatures, which will allow for granular crediting for instances where there is no watermark present. This will provide Nielsen with the capability to credit shorter durations in a more robust way across several of Nielsen’s metering technologies, including Nielsen’s GTAM, Nano and Portable People Meter (PPM) wearable devices.

By streamlining its crediting systems and migrating them to a cloud-based infrastructure, Nielsen will not only have more flexibility and scalability, but it will also be able to deliver to clients two streams of data: currency measurement as we know it today and, in parallel, Nielsen Individual Commercial Metrics that will be fundamental for Nielsen ONE

Following a steady stream of industry-leading enhancements, such as transforming our digital business, launching a streaming suite to account for this growing consumer segment, unveiling our cookieless approach or rolling out our ID Resolution System, this enhancement is another step closer to putting TV and digital on a level playing field and providing the industry with true, deduplicated cross-platform measurement in the form of Nielsen ONE.

About Nielsen

Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at or and connect with us on social media.

About Extreme Reach

Extreme Reach (ER) is the global leader in creative logistics. Its end-to-end technology platform moves creative at the speed of media, simplifying the activation and optimization of omnichannel campaigns for brands and agencies with unparalleled control, visibility and insights.

One global creative-to-media supply chain answers the challenges of a complex marketing landscape and an equally complicated infrastructure under the global advertising ecosystem. The company’s groundbreaking solution integrates all forms of linear TV and non-linear video workflow seamlessly with talent payments and rights management. Now, brands and agencies can optimize campaigns as fast as consumer consumption shifts across linear TV, CTV, OTT, addressable TV, mobile, desktop and video-on-demand.

Extreme Reach connects brand content with consumers across media types and markets, fully illuminating the marketing supply chain for a clear view of creative usage, waste, performance and ROI.

With the acquisition of Adstream, Extreme Reach operates in 140 countries and 45 languages, with 1,100 team members serving 90 of the top 100 global advertisers and enabling $150 billion in video ad spend around the world. More than half a billion creative brand assets are managed in ER’s creative logistics platform.