Nielsen Appoints New Audience Measurement Head to Tackle Convergent TV

The firm is working on bridging digital, linear and advanced TV

Scott Brown has been elevated to the role of general manager, audience measurement. Nielsen

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Nielsen is elevating one of its longtime executives to a new position, head of audience measurement, in an effort to better position the company to crack the measurement unification code.

Scott Brown, who formerly served as chief technology officer for Nielsen’s measurement products, has been promoted to the role of general manager, audience measurement, the company announced today. In the new position, Brown will be tasked with continuing to develop Nielsen’s measurement products, including a unified TV, advanced TV and digital video solution.

It’s a move that will position Nielsen’s measurement solutions under a single purview, part of an ongoing effort by the company to sort out the best way to measure video viewership across traditional television, advanced TV and digital.

“Nielsen has historically measured media types and platforms independently,” Brown said in a statement. “However, as convergence across all media types continue, the industry will require a single methodology for a holistic view that captures how digital, connected TV and other platforms perform alongside linear TV. This is the holy grail.”

The appointment comes as advertisers, agencies, networks and platforms are asking for a single entry point to measure media consumption across all devices and screens. As people are watching programming at home in record numbers, and as marketing budgets get squeezed amid unfavorable economic conditions, the desire for that kind of measurement has only grown.

“Consumers are watching premium video in a fundamentally different way today than they were even five years ago,” Eric Bosco, chief product officer for Nielsen Media, said in a statement. “The opportunity for marketers is enormous. We’re bringing together the ability to effectively plan, optimize and measure through the full funnel so that marketers can monetize this opportunity to the fullest extent. Scott will play a critical role in bridging all of our measurement solutions together to ensure that we meet the evolving needs of the market.” 

Nielsen is already working on measurement fixes to try to account for an increasingly complex and convergent landscape. This summer, the company announced it was overhauling its digital measurement methodology to account for changing privacy rules, including the California Consumer Privacy Act.  

The company is also working on integrating its national out-of-home viewing data into TV measurement for this fall. Nielsen had earlier planned to hold that metric’s rollout until early 2021 considering the widespread shutdowns of locations where programming is often view out of home, but it reversed course following backlash from several networks that had taken the altered network into account during upfront negotiations.

@kelseymsutton Kelsey Sutton is the streaming editor at Adweek, where she covers the business of streaming television.