TRA Licenses Nielsen Data to Remove Friction

TRA announced that it would begin to license Nielsen data and include it in its Media Analytics interface.  This announcement, part of a breakfast panel at CBS’ Paley Center, was part of a bigger discussion of Big Data or as CEO Mark Lieberman says “naturally occurring data” in the media marketplace. 

The main purpose in adding Nielsen data was “to remove friction in the media buying” according to Research CRO Bill Harvey. Before adding Nielsen, TRA “had a problem lining up the Tribune program titles with the Nielsen program titles and it was a major impediment.” By aligning Nielsen as-run information with TRA’s STB data, it is possible to take some of the error out of program over-runs and matching to commercial pods. TRA CEO Mark Lieberman explained that TRA is also licensing Nielsen ratings and DMA definitions and program titles for use in TRA’s analytics and make it easier to use. Short videos of Bill’s and Mark’s remarks can be found here:

The breakfast meeting included a panel that was moderated by David Verklin and included Starcom’s Amanda Richman, CBS’ David Poltrack, Bruce Lefkowitz of Fox, Todd Dixon of Empire and Horizon’s Brad Adgate. The questions spanned such topics as the relevancy of TV today, the importance of Data and Analytics, TiVo as a disruptor … or not … and what the future holds for media in general. 

Why is TV still so relevant? Lefkowitz explained that TV is still a part of our culture, informing social chatter around the watercooler and forging a unifying factor for media. For Poltrack, TV offers an engaged and attentive audience that, via a second screen experience, can bring the transaction element into TV viewing. None of the panel thought that TiVo was a disruptive presence in the television viewing experience. In fact, according to Adgate, more than half of all ads are still viewed in playback because TV is still a laid back, relaxing entertainment experience. 

Yet through the morning, one thing was clear; the era of Big Data and its importance in addressable advertising campaigns, in planning buys and stewarding contracts has arrived. Not only are clients such as Todd Dixon at Empire using Big Data to help optimize frequency to an individual targeted level, but, as Amanda Richman of Starcom explained, “Big Data matters.” Her agency is very committed to making TV work harder and smarter through the use of such data. “Big Data allows for a deeper dive GRP to ‘PRP’ – purchase per rating point,” according to Bruce Lefkowitz. In fact, Dixon found that using Big Data on the local level, even across 83 DMAs, was much more efficient than buying nationally because of its efficient target-ability. 

It is clear that market momentum is currently with Big Data and if anything, the speed at which media companies embrace this data will increase and become more creative and complex. Verklin concluded that there is a generational change in the media business. Certainly, the future belongs to those strategists who embrace Big Data analytics in the course of their business practices.

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