Dec 16 2021
Media Coverage

ViacomCBS, Dentsu Partner for VideoAmp Data Trials

Q1 pilot marks big step forward in use of alternate currency to Nielsen

By Jason Lynch

After recently allowing advertisers to start transacting against VideoAmp metrics instead of Nielsen or Comscore data, and being a part of the OpenAP consortium that just rolled out a new cross-platform measurement framework last week, ViacomCBS is ready to engage in the first major test that will combine both new offerings.

ViacomCBS and Dentsu are partnering on pilots in Q1 of 2022 that will utilitze VideoAmp data, as well as OpenAP’s new XPm to measure the cross-platform efficacy of campaigns, in one of the biggest advancements yet in the use of alternative currency options to Nielsen.

The Dentsu pilot campaign activation “provides a blueprint around publisher and agency interoperability in a way that aligns our incentives, takes intermediaries out of the equation and we think ultimately will lead to a lot more effective campaign activation,” said John Halley, COO, advertising revenue, ViacomCBS.

By utilizing OpenAP’s common TV audience identifier, OpenID, XPm unlocks the value of an agency’s custom data set like Merkle, Dentsu’s data-driven performance marketing agency, which Halley said will “radically improve” campaign effectiveness.

“What that really does with OpenID is it allows us to match the Merkle data and make it actionable in the marketplace, which really hasn’t been done before,” said Cara Lewis, chief investment officer, Dentsu Media.

Ultimately, “we’re democratizing data,” said Halley. No matter what the marketer or agency’s preferred data set is, “we can now guarantee against that.”

The ViacomCBS pilot will take place “across multiple categories,” said Lewis. “The cross-platform nature of this is really going to push out the efficacy of our plans. We need to be in that cross-platform world. We can’t just be in a linear world anymore.”

Dentsu already has a relationship with VideoAmp, which powers the agency’s in-house programmatic-buying tool, DELTA (Data-Enabled Linear Television Activation), but this is the first time the agency will be transacting on VideoAmp data.

After the trial is complete, Halley hopes that ViacomCBS will incorporate this more broadly into next year’s upfront negotiations. “Once this is built, I think it will be broadly adopted, because it’s going to work,” he said.

It’s all been building to this

Today’s news is the culmination of two major recent initiatives.

In September, ViacomCBS said it would begin to allow advertisers to transact against VideoAmp metrics, offering another alternative alongside stalwarts Nielsen and Comscore. Starting in October, marketers could use VideoAmp TV viewership data to guarantee their linear media transactions against age and gender demographics, as well as customized segments created using its Vantage, ViacomCBS’ advanced advertising platform.

Just last week, OpenAP debuted XPm, a new framework designed to offer a single, central hub for marketers who want to understand how campaigns performed across platforms using OpenAP’s common TV audience identifier, OpenID, which the company announced earlier this year.

XPm is designed to facilitate cross-platform reporting on campaigns that run across various platforms and on various networks and publishers by giving content providers a way to share campaign exposure data to third-party measurement companies. Advertisers using OpenIDs for their campaigns will be able to receive post-campaign reporting insights from XPm that include information such as deduplicated unique cross-platform reach, total cross-platform impressions and average ad frequency.

The framework is not meant to serve as a measurement alternative on its own, but instead serves as the connecting tissue from networks to several measurement companies, including Comscore, iSpot, Nielsen, VideoAmp and 605.

This is the latest effort to create and test alternative measurement solutions after Nielsen’s national TV measurement service lost its accreditation in September from the Media Rating Council, following months of questions about the accuracy of Nielsen’s in-house panel data during the pandemic.

Nielsen has promised to make the appropriate fixes, but the VAB, ANA NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia—as well as ViacomCBS— are among that companies and consortiums that are actively exploring new measurement options.

Source: Adweek