Nielsen Pushes Into Addressable TV Advertising with ‘Advanced Video Advertising Group’

NielsenUS measurement company Nielsen today announced the launch of ‘Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising’, a new initiative aimed at enabling and expanding addressable TV advertising on smart TVs. The announcement follows Nielsen’s acquisition of addressable TV advertising specialist Sorenson Media for $11.25 million.

Nielsen says the initiative combines Sorenson with previous acquisitions Gracenote, which owns automatic content recognition (ACR) technology, and Qterics, a smart TV software and privacy management company. Nielsen says that by tying these elements together it will be able to deliver addressable TV ads on smart TVs while also handling campaign management and measurement.

“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 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.”

The company has previously worked in the addressable TV advertising space, enabling brands to target audiences with smart TV data via the Nielsen Marketing Cloud. It also launched an addressable TV ad pilot in five markets last year. Nielsen now plans to run further pilots, folding in Sorenson’s tech and adding additional broadcast partners.

While Nielsen’s initial foray into addressable TV advertising will be focussed entirely on smart TVs, it may look at other avenues in the future too, saying in the announcement that the company is looking at enabling addressable advertising “for smart TVs and beyond”.

The move comes at a time when Nielsen is under significant pressure to adapt its business model. The company’s value to broadcasters has been called into question – CBS earlier this year accused the company of not making enough progress on cross-platform measurement, and disagreed with Nielsen’s prices. And it’s financial results have disappointed too – ex-CEO Mitch Barnes announced his retirement last year after particularly disappointing Q2 results – leading to speculation that the company could be sold.

But the company sees a lot of potential in addressable TV advertising. A statement from the company said that the smart TV landscape “has the potential to usher in a gold rush for marketers”, and Nielsen believes its tech assets leave it well placed to capitalise on the opportunity.

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