IAB selects Nielsen for digital audience measurement overhaul

Online advertising association says key to its decision to appoint Nielsen was its mobile advertising measurement capabilities

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) of Australia has confirmed Nielsen will be the exclusive preferred supplier for digital audience measurement services next year after a seven-month review.

The three-year contract, which commences on 1 January 2015, includes overhauling the current digital audience measurement system as well as adding new mobile measurement and reporting capabilities into the mix.

Among the major service improvements planned are introducing smartphone and tablet ratings in Q1, cross-digital ratings for desktops, smartphones and tablets by July, new daily ratings for digital content including video in early 2016, and increased and more granular local and network reporting. Nielsen beat GfK to the final contract following a request for proposal process that attracted 23 expressions of interest.

Related: IAB plans new programs to embrace wider digital advertising community

The association has been making significant moves to modernise its digital advertising reporting methodologies in the past year, with a particular focus on how to better gauge mobile interaction. It partnered with Nielsen last December on a new mobile audience panel measurement pilot including several Australian publishers.

According to the IAB’s second annual <i>IAB/TNS Mobile Landscape Study</i>, nearly half of all digital campaigns have a mobile component today, while two-thirds of more experienced marketers surveyed expect to utilise mobile in their display campaigns by 2016. Yet measurement was nominated by 25 per cent of respondents as the single biggest issue facing mobile advertising.

In a statement announcing the new Nielsen contract, the IAB’s Technical Review Group said Nielsen had been the preferred candidate by a “significant margin”, and highlighted its mobile capabilities as one of the key decision criteria.

“Nielsen’s appointment firmly places Australia at the forefront of digital audience measurement globally and will help IAB ensure our industry remains transparent and healthy in years to come,” IAB Australia CEO, Alice Manners, said.

“Our industry has experienced considerable growth in the last couple of years to reach 37 per cent of total advertising expenditure this year and I have no doubt that this growth has been supported by the quality of digital audience measurement. With the rollout of the new system, I see this growth soaring with publishers able to report on their complete audience across all digital platforms and agencies being able to better understand how audiences are moving across these platforms.”

Read more: Instagram rolls out ads in Australia

The head of Nielsen’s Media Industry Group, Monique Perry, said the organisations had fought hard for the contract and was pleased to be chosen.

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