NBCUniversal Expands Partnership With Data Plus Math to Offer Deeper Consumer Analysis

Company shifts from legacy metrics to performance-based guarantees

New measurements could include in-store traffic or products purchased. Getty Images

NBCUniversal is expanding its partnership with Data Plus Math as part of its broader company strategy to offer advertisers more performance-based guarantees over traditional metrics.

The company’s announcement comes on the heels of its guaranteeing the advertising buy surrounding The Upside on the movie’s ticket sales, over the traditional age-gender metric from Nielsen.

Its deepening relationship with Data Plus Math, a media measurement company, is another way NBCU is looking to measure what consumers actually do after they view an ad.

“How do we measure the efficacy of spend? That’s a conversation that’s happening at agencies [among] marketers and publishers,” said Kavita Vazirani, evp, NBCUniversal insights and measurement. “That is, in my mind, the future.”

NBCUniversal is announcing the partnership the same day it holds what it is describing as a measurement summit, where the company will address how it will further build out partnerships and offerings like cross-measurement platform CFlight to better serve advertisers, she said.

Data Plus Math has provided insights to NBCU for over a year, but now, Vazirani said, the offering is ready to go to market. Data Plus Math has previously worked with other media organizations, including AMC Networks, A+E Networks, Discovery Communications and Fox News.

Vazirani said the new deal comes after Data Plus Math made further investments in its platform. “We’ve definitely moved from conceptual to reality here,” she said.

The partnership will allow NBCUniversal to offer in-flight measurement of linear, VOD addressable as well as OTT inventory with attribution of client outcomes—in other words, what consumers do after they watch the ad. That could mean anything from site or in-store traffic, loyalty to a brand or actual sales.

“This is to show it actually has impact across the funnel and across the consumer journey,” Vazirani said.

NBCUniversal isn’t the only network looking to offer performance-based guarantees. Turner, for example, has said Xandr will make that offer, and A+E Networks allows advertisers to optimize ongoing campaigns to determine their ROIs.

“Measuring TV today means much more than linear TV. It requires measurement of Smart TVs, set top boxes, VOD, streaming, OTT and full episode players,” said John Hoctor, CEO, Data Plus Math, in a statement. “We are excited to be working with an innovator in moving cross platform forward and in partnering together to ensure that video viewing gets the full credit and value it deserves.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.