NBCUniversal Partners With Top Brands to Transact on New Currencies

Inaugural Currency Council members PepsiCo, State Farm and General Motors pledge to spend 'real dollars'

NBCUniversal is accelerating its push towards alternate currencies, announcing the creation of a new initiative called The Currency Council.

More than 10 top brands—including General Motors, Marriot Bonvoy, PepsiCo, State Farm, T-Mobile and Wayfair—across all major holding companies have signed on to the Currency Council, and will transact with NBCUniversal using new currencies.

“These innovative advertisers have come to the table and they have agreed to transact with us on real dollars,” said Kelly Abcarian, evp, measurement and impact, advertising and partnerships, during a press event Tuesday afternoon. “As we continue to drive toward and multicurrency future, alongside our clients we will usher in better measurement that delivers unified, exact, second by second cross-platform currency across all NBCU properties.”

Abcarian said the new currencies will help drive quality and efficient reach, and solve industry challenges around increased frequency, waste and inflation.

“We will be ready alongside of our partners so when 100% new currencies, whether it arrives next year or the year after, we could not be more excited to be ready to embrace the opportunity of being ready to engage with our marketers now on better measurement,” said Abcarian.

The initiative comes after NBCUniversal completed what it says is the industry’s largest test and learn to date with iSpot.tv, consisting of 67 advertisers across all major holding companies and 158 brands.  

More than 40% of the company’s upfront volume deals were involved in the test and learn, which Abcarian said was a testament of clients’ enthusiasm in solving measurement.

News of The Currency Council came during a larger One Platform press conference, in which NBCUniversal highlighted many of its advancements over the past year, including the launch of its Measurement Certification framework, new Peacock ad formats and increased programmatic offerings.

The company also announced that its annual developer conference will be held on Feb. 16, 2023. That event, which will be called One23, will feature more ways for clients and partners to participate, with further details to be announced later.

Continued measurement upheaval

NBCUniversal’s push into alternative currencies comes as the industry finds itself in a time of upheaval around measurement.

WarnerMedia tapped iSpot.tv, as well as Comscore and VideoAmp, as the three measurement companies for the first tests of its own measurement alternative.

Paramount, meanwhile, is partnering with VideoAmp and Dentsu on data trials this quarter as it also explores alternate currencies to Nielsen. And Comscore has created its own unified measurement offering—Comscore Everywhere—to compete with Nielsen’s upcoming Nielsen One.

Nielsen, the largest measurement company in the industry, lost its third-party accreditation in 2021, and last week the Media Rating Council’s audit committee voted to maintain the suspension of accreditation for Nielsen’s national ratings.

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