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Aol Adopts Nielsen Rating System for Online Video Ad Measurment




The online world wakes up each day and continues its quest for more accurate and trustworthy ways to measure success of online ads. It makes sense since the pitch of the online world is that everything is so measurable. We preach about it every day then we wonder why people are disappointed in the types of metrics we come up with especially around the effectiveness of advertising.

When it comes to video ads this is an even more exasperating exercise. The traditional methods of measuring and defining audience in the video space has been shaped by the way TV has been packaged and sold for years and years. The godfather of audience measurement, Nielsen, has become the go to, the de facto, measurement tool.

Well, the folks at Nilesen have convinced Aol that they have also built a better mousetrap for the online space as well. AdWeek reports

Is Nielsen’s online measurement service ready for prime time? AOL thinks so—and is guaranteeing against Nielsen’s new Online Campaign Ratings.

While Nielsen’s gross ratings points are used as currency ­by the entire television industry, its online GRPs are generated in a very different way and then parsed so that they are, in the words of Nielsen’s Steve Hasker, “exactly comparable to TV.” That’s a claim that will be tested in coming months, as Nielsen and AOL push the new model to advertisers still casting about for a convincing measurement metric.

In a sense, the online world owes this to advertisers. It’s funny to watch people get completely up in arms when someone implies that the online space is not producing results. The cry is ” How can you say that?! That means you are not doing it right!” Well, in many cases I respectfully disagree. Sure you can measure traffic and clicks but until the point comes where we can more precisely measure just what (or combination of whats) caused a purchase, marketers and advertisers should remain skeptical.

It’s kind of ironic to watch the online space consider the adoption of a more traditional medium but it only makes sense to put some forms of measuring audience in terms that marketers can understand. The online space wants to always make everything new but that can often confuse a situation. Having an interim type of measurement that eases the transition for marketers from old to new is a better way to go albeit a much less cool one.

So is this type of measurement one to be completely trusted today? Well, let’s just take a step back

The tinkering will likely continue for agencies. A rep for GroupM, which is working with Nielsen on this project and another focused on multiscreen measurement, said, “There is still some work to be done before we adopt this as a standard for video buying.”

So we’re not there yet. That’s fine. We are working to get there. If we take the small steps to get there in a better way rather than leapfrogging everything to THINK we are getting there now only to have to backpedal and further damage the online space’s credibility, we will be better off.

From what I have observed of the online community, however, patience is not one of its virtues at all.