LAS VEGAS — Historically, the TV ad industry has predicated on estimated the size and kind of audiences watching particular shows, now knowing for sure.

But automatic content recognition (ACR) technology is now beginning to help advertisers and broadcasters know for sure.

It works using a range of hardware and software that either listens to or sees the content viewers are watching, typically matching the fingerprint against a cloud-based database of TV shows.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Karthik Rao of Nielsen, which offers such ACR capability, says the aim is to deliver “One Media Truth”.

“One Media Truth for Nielsen is all about the ability for us to measure these interactions between platforms and brands and the end consumers,” says Rao, the chief product and technology officer of Nielsen Global Media.

“Addressability, the excitement about that at CES this year, is one version of that, the most exciting versions for this year.”

Nielsen’s offering is the result of a series of acquisitions. Nielsen in 2018 acquired Sorenson Media, the early video encoding pioneer which had since moved in to enabling household-level addressable TV ad targeting but which had since filed for bankruptcy.

Nielsen has used Sorenson to launch Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising (AVA), which sees the Sorenson tech sit alongside the automatic content recognition (ACR) capability Sorenson acquired from Gracenote, to offer ad buyers addressable capabilities.

Gracenote’s ACR technology enables real-time detection of which ads are actually being played on devices by consumers. Sorenson’s delivers targeted ads. Nielsen’s measures the ads.

Rao’s Nielsen has also been enabling ACR for Amobee, the video ad-tech supplier, as it seeks scale for its offering.

“That helps Amobee create great experiences for what they do as a business,” he says. “And so it’s just amazing to see such granular data being brought to life in very different ways and helping new use cases that was just not possible before, in the case of Amobee as an example.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of advanced TV at CES 2020 presented by Amobee and hosted by GroupM Worldwide.  For more videos from the series, please visit this page.