Mar 20 2023
Media Coverage

Warner Bros. Discovery Teams With VideoAmp and Comscore as Currency Providers

Clients can transact with the options across the company’s linear portfolio for the 2023-2024 upfront season

Warner Bros. Discovery is bringing on new partners in its push for multiple currencies.

Top line

Today, the company announced that it’s partnering with Comscore and VideoAmp to enable alternative currencies for national advertisers transacting across its linear inventory and data-driven advanced advertising solutions ahead of the 2023-2024 upfront season.

Between the lines

The company started evaluating currency partners in 2021, according to Andrea Zapata, evp, head of ad sales research, measurement and insights at Warner Bros. Discovery, and these latest partnerships look to provide marketers with options to ensure the impact of investments are fully captured as the company looks to operationalize against multiple currencies at scale.

“With the rigorous evaluation, the beginning of competence, methodology but also understanding the product roadmap that in particular Comscore and VideoAmp had for transaction capabilities, it gave us real confidence that we could make the announcement that they would indeed be part of our optionality when it comes to transactions in the next upfront,” Zapata told Adweek.

Zapata explained that the strategy will allow the market to dictate how it transacts, whether that’s on Nielsen, which is introducing Nielsen One; Comscore, which Warner Bros. Discovery has already been utilizing across its advanced advertising business; or VideoAmp, which the company said will be ready for optionality for the upfront.

Though companies had been looking for more accurate measurement for years—understanding that panel-based solutions weren’t capturing viewership across screens on how audiences were actually consuming—Zapata explained that the optionality didn’t truly exist until now.

“We’ve got a lot of confidence. We are constantly innovating with our partners and with new technology, bigger datasets, more accurate reads, and ultimately, we have a lot of conviction around how we can have better ways to measure, better ways in which to garner value of the investments that advertisers, clients and the holding companies are putting across our inventory in order to reach our audiences and their customer bases,” Zapata said.

In separate statements, both Jon Carpenter, CEO at Comscore, and Michael Parkes, president of VideoAmp, praised the partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery.

Carpenter noted that Comscore was excited “to power marketplace demand for greater transparency, consistency and interoperability,” and Parkes added that VideoAmp was “committed to providing advertisers with greater visibility into the true value of both the breadth and depth of the Warner Bros. Discovery portfolio.”

The newly expanded currency options will also be available with Warner Bros. Discovery’s advanced data-driven linear solution. The high-fidelity viewership data sets will allow Warner Bros. Discovery to yield greater efficacy and greater impact for advertisers engaging in audience-based buying, according to the company.

These new currency partnerships come following a test-and-learn for evaluating third-party measurement providers, which reviewed partners on methodology, reporting, activation, stewardship and campaign findings. 

“We were really thinking about this process from forecasting the audience to posting on the delivery. And that takes not just a looking under the hood and methodology this takes a real thorough analysis and a pressure test through our own pipes and through clients’ pipes to make sure that we can scale,” Zapata said. “Not just transaction for one, five or 50 campaigns, but to truly scale across all of our inventory so we can do real volume investments.”

Bottom line

The push for optionality in currencies continues more than a year after the Media Rating Council stripped Nielsen’s accreditation for inaccurate audience measurement nationally and locally early in the pandemic. In November 2022, the MRC voted to maintain the suspension of accreditation for Nielsen’s national ratings, according to a letter sent to clients viewed by Adweek.

In addition to the latest currency partnerships, Warner Bros. Discovery has been active in the push for alternative measurement, announcing in January that it reached an agreement with VideoAmp to measure cross-screen campaigns across the global media company’s portfolio.

Source: ADWEEK