Amid a tumultuous period in which its owner AT&T agreed to spin it out into a merger with Discovery, WarnerMedia has set itself up to count its audiences across platforms, by announcing the winners of a beauty contest.

WarnerMedia has picked Comscore, iSpot.TV and VideoAmp from a field of up to around a dozen hopefuls that had vied to solve its cross-screen challenges, adding to its use of Nielsen for conventional TV viewing.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Andrea Zapata, Head of Research, Data & Insights, WarnerMedia Ad Sales, explains how the selection will move the needle.

Best of both

“We started a process late in ’21 to look at preferred partners, as far as ‘How do we start pushing the envelope on how we count differently?’,” Zapata says. “That’s foundational to our business without question.

“When we initially started the process, it was thinking really about not just the broad demographic of persons (age) 25 to 54 against linear, because we have a partner who does that well… but then to start moving into a more advanced audience set.

“Marrying our first party and third party data set … with digital is that holy grail, in my nerdy dreams, of having the ‘only (linear), only (digital), both’ de-duped in a way that we feel confident across screens”.

WarnerMedia Issues RFI for Audience Measurement Amid Shift in Viewer Habits

WarnerMedia’s next chapter

Spun out of AT&T, WarnerMedia is due to be combined with Discovery. The data-driven ad marketplace Xandr, which had sat alongside WarnerMedia, is being sold to Microsoft.

Programmers today have extended their viewing options to new platforms, but they are desperate to prove to advertisers that they can reach desired consumers whilst stripping out duplicate views from the same viewer using multiple devices.

Programmers and networks have been striving to go beyond traditional demographic TV measurement whilst also accounting for de-duplication.

WarnerMedia had issued an RFI (request for information) to vendor companies in the cross-over space, entering discussions with between 10 and 15 such providers.

Vendor quest

“There wasn’t a single one of the partners who could do all the things,” Zapata tells Beet.TV.

“But that’s okay – we understand where the gaps are. We believe that they’re being really smart about how they’re going to care for those gaps.

“(It’s been) really refreshing to see how open these measurement partners have been … (starting) conversations with the head of investments or the CROs, making sure that, whatever round of series of funding they’re in, how are they thinking about placing those investments.”

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From accuracy to effectiveness

The new partnership with Comscore, iSpot.TV and VideoAmp will include “test-and-learn” along with media agencies.

But, for Zapata, it won’t stop with accurate counting.

“The next really specific strategic measure that we’re keen on fleshing out more is on the effectiveness side of the house,” she adds.

“These two things, the counting and the effectiveness, are inherently linked. Our ability to start hooking these things together across our media portfolio on behalf of our partners is going be really, I think, exciting work.”

You’re watching “Engaging Stories, Impactful Innovation,” a Beet.TV Leadership Video Series, presented by WarnerMedia. To view more videos from this series, please visit this page.