Viacom, comScore Partner on Cross-Platform Viewer Measurement

Partnership marks first cross-platform deal since comScore merged with Rentrak

Viacom and comScore announced a multi-year partnership for cross-platform measurement on Friday.

The agreement marks the first cross-platform deal for the newly merged comScore and RentrakViacom will have access to comScore’s set of cross-platform measurement tools and advanced demographic capabilities, which span the linear TV, video-on-demand, digital and over-the-top environments.

In turn, the data will be translated by Viacom’s Vantage group of advertising products and available for use as a currency for transacting, thereby delivering a more complete view of the consumer for its marketing partners.

“This partnership with comScore marks a fundamental watershed moment in the business of television,” said Bryson Gordon, senior vice president data strategy at Viacom. “This revolution in targeting, currency and measurement is the equivalent of shifting from black and white to color. Viacom’s longstanding investment in data and innovation and our unique ability to merge creativity and science has positioned us far ahead in the marketplace by delivering what partners crave — the most comprehensive view of the consumer and the most effective way to reach them.”

ComScore’s cross-platform tools gather information from a segment of the population covering more than 40 million televisions and 120 million video-on-demand users in 210 markets across the United States, in addition to more than 1.5 trillion monthly digital interactions.

“We are excited to partner with Viacom on a deal that we believe will transform the way that advertising will be bought and sold,” said Serge Matta, CEO of comScore. “Viacom’s expertise in data strategy makes them an ideal first partner to leverage our cross-platform metrics and advanced demographics as a more powerful currency on which to transact.”

ComScore and Rentrak announced in Sept. that they would merge in an effort to challenge Nielsen for control of TV ratings data.

In the shifting TV landscape, Nielsen has already been feeling pressure from competitors like Rentrak and comScore. Nielsen president of U.S. media Lynda Clarizio recently told TheWrap that the company welcomes competition, however.

“Rentrak’s biggest challenge is that they don’t have the core television data, which you need as you move to total audience,” Clarizio said, adding that viewer panels form the core of Nielsen’s business, “and they don’t have the panels that we do.”

“Those panels are a perfect demographic representation of America,” she continued. “I think five years ago, if you were at Nielsen, we would have said we’re only doing panels. We’ve moved beyond that. We know now that we have to bring in all these other data sets. But the panels are a key competitive advantage for us.”