NEW YORK – Consumers have more ways to watch television programming among different electronic devices, challenging the media and marketing industries to measure that activity.

NBCUniversal, whose media brands include NBC, MSNBC, USA, SyFy and the Peacock streaming service, has called for new ways to quantify audiences and the effect of advertising. The company in August sent a request for proposal (RFP) to measurement companies to find metrics that accurately reflect consumer behavior and value content fairly.

The RFP process “really was to be very expansive about how to think about measurement as we move ahead,” Kelly Abcarian, executive vice president of measurement and impact at NBCUniversal, said in this interview with Beet.TV at the Advertising Week conference. “We wanted to ensure that we looked at all options across six categories because we think counting impressions alone is not enough. We need to move measurement toward a more value-based measurement ecosystem.”

The company is evaluating proposals from more than 80 measurement companies including Nielsen, which is currently developing its Nielsen One system to evaluate viewing activity for both linear TV and streaming media. Abcarian said NBCUniversal’s goal is to share its learnings and to push for more transparency.

“The industry and the innovators are excited to be able to have a stage in which to bring forward all of their innovations,” she said.

Measurement Innovation Forum

NBCUniversal joined the VAB’s Measurement Innovation Task Force and announced a plan to collaborate with other companies through its Measurement Innovation Forum. More than 30 companies and organizations are participating in the forum, including Citibank, Dentsu, Ford, GroupM, Havas Media, Publicis Groupe, Rocket Mortgage and Volkswagen.

“We always intended to be accountable and transparent back to the market, and really bring those learnings and education to help us all move measurement ahead,” Abcarian said.

The forum isn’t intended to supplant the Cross-Media Measurement (CMM) initiative started by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), but instead to supplement it. The efforts to improve TV measurement are crucial as Nielsen phases out its C3/C7 ratings for linear TV amid a shift to Nielsen One in three years.

“Measurement is changing, and we have an ability collectively across all of us to decide where it goes from here,” Abcarian said.