Deal combines Gracenote’s gold-standard ACR tech with the industry’s first cross-broadcaster, cross-distributor Ad Delivery platform to make Smart TV addressability a reality
New York, NY — Feb. 21, 2019 — Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) has launched a new technology, product and commercial initiative, Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, that will focus on expanding and innovating addressable advertising for smart TVs and beyond. To further accelerate this initiative, Nielsen has acquired Sorenson Media, a leading addressable TV technology provider that will help transform TV from a one-to-many to a one-to-one medium by powering addressable ad delivery and measurement.
The smart TV landscape has the potential to usher in a gold rush for marketers, programmers and OEMs. There are more smart TVs in the market today than ever before and more than 250 million expected by 2023, according to Statista. With more devices capable of delivering addressable TV advertising, similar to the digital world, the industry needs an end-to-end, AI-optimized platform that enables ad delivery, data-driven targeting, automation, real-time optimization, unified campaign management, and measurement. Nielsen is uniquely positioned to help tie all these elements together at scale.
Under the leadership of recently appointed CEO David Kenny, Nielsen is transforming its industry-leading media measurement business and sharpening its focus to help shape the future of addressable TV advertising. The addition of Sorenson Media’s addressable TV ad platform, combined with Nielsen’s Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, acquired through Gracenote, positions Nielsen with the technology and industry expertise to help deliver on the promise of addressable TV advertising.
“It’s clear that a significant portion of TV advertising will be addressable long into the future,” said David Kenny, CEO of Nielsen. “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.”
Over the last several years, Nielsen has made a number of strategic acquisitions that have strengthened its technology offerings and positioned it to thrive in the addressable TV future. It acquired Qterics, a smart TV software and privacy management company. Integrated into the firmware layer of millions of smart TVs, Gracenote’s ACR technology provides the ability for real-time, frame-level ad detection regardless of source or platform. And the most recent acquisition of Sorenson Media completes Nielsen’s go-to-market technology stack with an end-to-end ad delivery solution enabling addressable advertising for TV at scale.
With the technology and software now in place, Nielsen will leverage its deep experience in TV measurement to ensure that every addressable TV ad is transacted in a way that is transparent and drives the greatest value for the TV industry, while maintaining the integrity of current C3/C7 measurement standards.
“We are excited to partner with others in the industry to make addressability a reality,” said Kelly Abcarian, General Manager of Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising Group. “Nielsen has the experience and technology to help expand a scalable industry-wide, end-to-end addressable TV advertising solution. And, we can provide a measurement solution that innovates on current approaches with a bridge to the future.”
Nielsen has already made significant strides in the advancement of addressable TV on smart TVs. In addition to the ability to target audiences using smart TV data in the Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Nielsen launched a five-market addressable TV pilot across two OEMs late last year with CBS, A+E Networks and several other broadcasters to further understand the real consumer experience and the impact on the broadcast workflow. Sorenson’s addressable technology will be added to the next phase of the pilot, along with additional programmer participation.