Nielsen Unveils New ID System to Bolster Cross-Platform Measurement

TV advertising stalwart prepares data offering independent of cookies and mobile IDs

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Nielsen, a mainstay of the TV advertising industry, today unveiled its new ID resolution system, a launch that amounts to a comprehensive overhaul of its cross-screen measurement methodology.

The company maintains its latest identity resolution system, or ID graph, leverages a series of direct integrations with advertisers and publishers, as well as its traditional panel-based data, plus machine learning.

This offering will allow Nielsen to offer advertisers and media owners differentiated “people-based measurement across all platforms” that will better enable them to assess how ad spend drives business results, according to the company.

“By delivering a unique ID resolution system for our audience and outcomes measurement products, we are future-proofing our business and products from ongoing technology and regulatory changes,” said Mainak Mazumdar, chief data officer at Nielsen, in a statement.

The move comes in preparation for the decline of third-party cookies and mobile IDs (MAIDs), both of which have been the de facto means of targeting web-based and in-app ads.

Speaking with Adweek, Mazumdar further stressed that Nielsen’s ID solution is independent of any conflicting interests, avoiding bias toward a particular media seller, and that it can be validated and trusted by the industry’s key stakeholders even as privacy laws prompt an overhaul of traditional means of targeting ads and measuring their performance.

“There are many signals that are available to companies like us, because we are in the middle of the ecosystem measuring every impression in display [advertising], TV or radio,” he said. “The challenge for our data science team has been to take these signals and create an ID that allows you to continue to operate the way advertisers have been doing.”

Nielsen’s new ID resolution system stems from an overhaul to its measurement methodology announced earlier this year and is scheduled for a full rollout in the early part of 2021. Mazumdar told Adweek the company is currently engaging with the Media Rating Council to achieve accreditation.

And with cookies set to expire as an effective online advertising and measurement tool in 2022, Nielsen’s ambition is to be able to tell advertisers which ads were served to users on a particular platform. To perform this function effectively, the measurement outfit aims to make its offering interoperable with the glut of ID solutions currently making their way to market.

For this reason, Nielsen recently announced its support for The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0, a tactic that will enable its advertiser clients to maintain the persistency necessary to accurately measure ad performance across platforms, such as CTV, desktop or mobile.

“The de-duplication and persistency of the ID is necessary across all these platforms,” Mazumdar said. “We want to make our ID interoperable, that way if there are 20 different targeting IDs … advertisers can measure against the Nielsen ID graph.”

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.