SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Audience measurement company Nielsen is preparing to release its Nielsen One Ads service to help marketers and media buyers guage cross-platform campaigns, a necessity as people spend more time with streaming video on different devices. Advertisers want to understand how their customers engage with content, whether it’s user-generated or produced by a studio.

“When we sit down to watch television we’re not saying, ‘I’m gonna watch a little linear,’ ‘I’m gonna watch a little streaming,’ or ‘a little CTV,’ we’re just watching television,” Deirdre Thomas, managing director of U.S. audience measurement business development and sales at Nielsen, said at the Beet Retreat Santa Monica. “As we think about television and what it is and what counts, really people vote with their most precious asset, which is time.”

Nielsen in the past couple of years has worked to bring Nielsen One for cross-platform measurement to market. One of its main goals is to combine audience measurement with advanced audience and outcomes measurement to support ad campaigns end-to-end.

Thomas said understanding how people spend their time includes measuring their exposure to “walled garden” media outlets that work to avoid sharing personally identifiable information about their users. These platforms include social media, search, online marketplaces and connected television (CTV) apps that keep data in separate silos.

“We need to bring into this conversation Google and TikTok and Amazon and Apple and the other part of the equation,” Thomas said in an on-stage conversation with Jonathan Watts, editorial director of Beet.TV Events, “Absent that, we’re not looking at the full picture, nor are we measuring it, and with Nielsen One, we will be.”

An essential part of cross-platform measurement is to establish metrics that help advertisers, agencies and programmers to compare one media outlet to another. That universe includes out-of-home advertising and over-the-air television.

“You need some sort of common underpinning, a common yardstick,” Thomas said. “We’re trying to understand people, we’re trying to understand how they spent their time, and we’re trying to do it in a way that’s consistent across screens and media types and platforms so that we can best serve the consumer.”

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