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Nielsen’s Annual Marketing Report finds marketers are all in on streaming despite questions on its effectiveness as advertising platform

3 minute read | April 2023

Marketers struggle with effective cross-media measurement, budgetary challenges and confidence in ROI measurement amid the rise of new digital channels according to new Nielsen global survey

NEW YORKApril 26, 2023 – Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics, released its 2023 Annual Marketing Report, which uncovered that 84% of marketers are including streaming platforms in their media planning to meet their audiences, yet only 49% of survey respondents view OTT and CTV as effective advertising channels.

The fifth annual report, which surveyed nearly 2,000 global marketers in December 2022, found that advertisers and agencies lack complete and comparable data hampering their ability to fully understand audiences’ growing affinity for on-demand content that better meets their personal preferences delivered by digital platforms. Only 53% of marketers are confident in full-funnel measurement, and 69% agree that digital media and audience fragmentation amid the rise of streaming poses significant challenges to reach their target audiences, highlighting an increasing need for accurate, comparable, representative cross-media measurement across devices and platforms.

The 2023 Annual Marketing Report surveyed marketers on the implications of the recessionary economic environment, planned media spending, audience data, media mix inclusive of streaming, cross-media measurement challenges and measurement technology. Key findings include:

  1. Confidence in holistic ROI measurement is low: Globally, 71% of marketers say that comparability in cross-media measurement is important. Yet cross-media ROI measurement remains elusive for many, with CTV ad measurement presenting notable challenges.

  2. Planned channel investments transcend perceived effectiveness: Given the low confidence in channel-level and full-funnel ROI measurement, marketers report only mild degrees of effectiveness across channels, with perceived effectiveness lowest for podcasts, CTV, streaming audio and native advertising. However, these four channels are also among those that marketers plan to invest most in over the coming year, with planned increases ranging from 38%-42%.

  3. Investment in martech is declining: In addition to using less of their martech in recent years, marketers report plans to pull back on additional investment in the year ahead. Despite expected increased ad budgets, 24% of global marketers, on average, plan to reduce their investment in martech to some degree, with 12% planning cuts of 150% or more.

  4. Investments today can save money in the long term: Heading into 2023, most brands were already under-spending—by a median of 50%—to achieve their maximum ROI. Reducing spending by even more could suppress ROI even further, and negatively impact marketers’ top objectives for the year ahead: customer acquisition, closely followed by brand awareness.

“In a complex media world, with channel proliferation and changing consumer behavior, comparability can ensure data and measurement integrity and consistency leading to clarity and true outcomes success,” said Jamie Moldafsky, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Nielsen. “For marketers, that means focusing on the customer, testing new channels, learning where to pivot and leaning into new capabilities. And with the audience in mind, it’s critical to leverage the highest quality inputs and data to inform your way forward. With an eye on the future, true cross-media measurement requires transformative thinking that puts the audience ahead of a growing assortment of tools and solutions that measure at the channel level.”

This is the fifth Annual Marketing Report produced by Nielsen. The report is based on survey responses from marketers who manage marketing budgets $1 million or more; who work across a variety of industries (auto, financial services, FMCG, technology, health care, pharmaceuticals, travel, tourism, and retail); and whose focus pertains to media, technology, and measurement strategies. Download the report here.

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. Nielsen operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at and connect with us on social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram).

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