By Sahil Patel
Online Campaign Ratings is Nielsen’s attempt to bring TV-like measurement to online video advertising, with the idea that it’s the key to bring more TV buyers on board with digital. (The pitch goes: TV buyers want to measure online video ads the way they already on TV, because it’s easier to compare, and because it’s easier to understand.)
Since launching in 2011, OCR has become one of two primary measurement solutions in the industry, the other being comScore’s vCE product. In fact, so prevalent are these two that YouTube recently — finally — acquiesced and opened its doors to both solutions.
But as anyone on an industry panel will tell you, the people, these days they are watching more and more on mobile. If online video is the new frontier, mobile video is the next frontier, and video ad measurement has an even longer hill to climb on that front.
Nielsen, for its part, says it’s launching “the final technical trial” in preparation of bringing OCR to mobile this summer. It’s already signed two leading video ad companies, BrightRoll and TubeMogul, who have been using the current iteration of OCR for the past 18 months, to participate.
(What OCR does, if it’s not exactly been clear, is measure the audience of a video ad campaign online, and soon mobile, including the valuable gross ratings point, or GRP, measure.)
On mobile, OCR will use a combination of Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Homes panel data with anonymized audience info from third-party providers to measure reach, frequency, and GRPs of mobile video ads. In addition to ads that are delivered via mobile browsers on smartphones and tablets, Nielsen says it will also provide numbers for in-app ads on various iOS and Android apps.
“2014 is a big year for Nielsen and the broader advertising industry,” said Megan Clarken, EVP, global product leadership, at Nielsen. “With true cross-platform measurement across content and advertising, publishers will be one step closer to unlocking the true value of their inventory and advertisers will know the real extent of their campaign reach.”
This move follows Nielsen’s decision last March to expand its content measurement capabilities to TV shows online via the launch of Nielsen Digital Program Ratings. The coming TV season will be the first time mobile video viewing is folded into the C3 TV rating used to buy and sell TV advertising.