ComScore, Adobe to Buddy Up on Digital TV Ratings

New partnership will marry the two measurement giants’ resources, aiming to figure out viewing happening on devices

A man streams a Netflix show in an airport

ComScore and Adobe are joining forces to try to figure out what television viewers are watching when it’s not regular TV.

A new partnership will combine the data and tools behind the two companies’ measurement of video for media and advertising clients that opt-in. Between digital measurement giant ComScore and Adobe, which helps run online streaming for many major television brands, the firms hope to better stitch together how viewers watch video across platforms, be it on traditional television, video on demand, a smartphone or an over-the-top streaming box.

It tackles a mystery dogging television companies and marketers, as consumers (especially young ones) have shifted to watching content after its broadcast through different technologies. Measurement hasn’t kept up with the lightning-fast changes in viewer habits, leading to gaps in viewership rathings. Everybody knows people are watching content online, but nobody has been able to connect all the dots.

If the partnership sounds familiar, TV-ratings giant Nielsen is developing its own answer to the problem with new measurements it calls Total Audience — with the help of Adobe.

Monday, the companies said that Adobe would pass along the video-viewing data it collects and certifies from devices, apps and video Web sites to ComScore, which would then enhance it with details like demographic information. In turn, Adobe will integrate ComScore data about audiences into a product designed for marketers and advertisers that helps them target ads and predict campaign performance, called Adobe Marketing Cloud.

In addition, Adobe said it would begin offering media companies more tools for streaming video. The company’s Adobe Primetime service, which already runs the TV Everywhere streaming for many of the biggest programmers, will add abilities like a Netflix-like recommendation feature for streaming apps and marketing tools to try to switch free ad-based viewers into subscribers.