Linda Yaccarino on Netflix Ratings and Why New Measurement Models Will Keep NBCU Ahead of Facebook

The chance ‘to own attribution is a big deal,’ said the ad sales chief

At the Brand Genius gala, Linda Yaccarino said she gets 'fired up' talking about measurement. Sean T. Smith for Adweek
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Nielsen made a big splash this week by announcing that it will finally begin to publicly share ratings for Netflix shows, but NBCUniversal ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino wishes the company would focus more on improving its current measurement platforms instead of creating new ones.

Yaccarino spoke with Adweek during Wednesday’s Brand Genius gala, which was sponsored by NBCUniversal. The ad sales chief kicked off the event and later helped introduce Brand Visionary Anna Wintour.

“We will pay attention to it from a consumer’s time spent—what are they doing?” said Yaccarino of the Netflix ratings news. “But I’m not really sure of the value it brings to anybody in this room tonight, because you can’t advertise on them.” Instead, she said, Nielsen would be better served “fixing the measurement as it exists today.”

She was also optimistic about the potential benefits of new offerings like the multi-touch attribution measurement model, code-named “Thor,” which NBCUniversal and networks like ABC, CBS, The CW, Fox, Turner, Viacom, Discovery Communications, AMC, A+E Networks, Hallmark and ESPN met to discuss last Friday. If Thor goes forward, it would track the extent to which exposure to an ad translates to a sale, which Yaccarino says will prove the power of ads that appear on NBCUniversal’s portfolio versus those on digital competitors like Facebook.

Here’s what Yaccarino had to say about the state of ad measurement and the potential benefits of new models like Thor:

John Tejada for Adweek

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.