Our Researcher Mike Glantz has been tracking the changes in TV media buying for us. Here are some thoughts from him on a new announcement from Nielsen and Kantar:

Although TV controls the lion’s share of the budget for most marketers, it has rarely been the most innovative or accountable medium. However, as TV becomes more fragmented and has to compete with digital, mobile, and over-the-top (OTT) video for viewers’ attention, marketers will need more granular data sets that allow them to track viewers across multiple platforms. In our Q4 2010 report “TV’s Currency Conversion” we made the call that set-top-box (STB) data will emerge as a parallel data currency with Nielsen for TV marketers. STB data allows marketers to accurately measure audiences across the tiniest cable networks, measure second-by-second commercial data, and compare audiences across TV and digital. We argued that STB data adoption would start with local marketers, since local marketers:

·         Are dissatisfied with Nielsen’s antiquated local methodology that does not provide granular insights (Sunflower Nixes Nielsen, Happy With Rentrak).

·         Do not need to wait for national standardization for STB data to make in-market decisions.

I am pleased and excited to report that last week, Nielsen and Kantar announced a partnership to augment Nielsen’s local measurement with Kantar’s STB data. Nielsen and Kantar have developed a hybrid methodology that offers local marketers a combination of granular insights with standard currency that the TV ad industry respects and trades on.

STB data is by no means the Holy Grail for TV advertising, but it is the bridge that allows marketers to integrate third-party data sets and will serve as the blueprint for cross-platform measurement in the future.

Are you a local TV advertiser/programmer or media agency that is working with STB data? What do you think of Nielsen and Kantar’s new product offering? Let us know your thoughts below or in the Forrester Community For CMO & Marketing Leadership Professionals.