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IAB Australia appoints The Nielsen Company for online audience measurement in Australia

03 Jun 2011

IAB Australia today announced that The Nielsen Company has been appointed the sole and exclusive preferred supplier for the provision of online audience measurement services in Australia. The appointment which is for an initial two-year term, follows an eight month tender and review process which was strongly supported by the MFA and AANA.

With the endorsement of Nielsen Online Ratings, IAB Australia is identifying people-based metrics, as opposed to browser-based, as the best and preferred online audience measurement system for the Australian online advertising industry. This will allow online to be measured comparably with other media in addition to providing online reach and frequency analyses comparable with traditional media schedules; and will set a platform for true cross-media measurement with other channels and devices, including mobile devices.

IAB Australia will now reconvene its Measurement Council to work with The Nielsen Company on the timings of delivery and the extension of measurement process to incorporate mobile including tablets and smart phones, video and cross channel engagement.

Paul Fisher, CEO of IAB Australia said the selection of a preferred supplier will provide marketers and media planners with audience metrics comparable to other media.

"The announcement today marks the dawn of a new era in online audience measurement and is a significant step towards growing the online advertising industry in Australia to the number one advertising channel, in excess of $4 billion per annum. For years, media planners and buyers and marketers, have asked for standardised measurement and metrics for online audiences and websites and a media planning and buying currency. Nielsen's Online Ratings hybrid measurement methodology is a significant and world-leading step towards that goal.

"This is without a doubt the most significant step to date in an ongoing process to evolve and improve how we measure online audiences and advertising. Online will now have the ability to offer ‘apples with apples' media planning capabilities and it will streamline audience measurement for marketers, media planners and buyers, publishers, networks," continued Mr Fisher.

Steve Hasker, President of Nielsen's global media products said: "The appointment of Nielsen for online audience measurement is an important step for the online market, reflecting the maturity and sophistication that the sector has reached. We are thrilled that our commitment to quality and innovation and our dedicated local team have won us IAB Australia's endorsement as the sole and exclusive provider of online audience measurement."

The Australian Association of National Advertisers has welcomed the announcement of Nielsen as the preferred supplier. Scott McClellan, CEO of AANA, said: "The online space has been using a variety of measurement tools, which has made it extremely difficult for advertisers to understand the value of audience data. This move to an Industry supported standardised currency will allow advertisers, in partnership with their agencies, to better understand the audience online use to assist in planning where to invest their media budget.

This process has been important to explore the opportunity to deliver true cross-platform metrics for digital media. Awarding the preferred supplier status to the Nielsen Company allows a set of criteria that is accepted by advertisers, agencies and media, to guide audience measurement in digital media as it evolves further in this rapidly moving space, developed with an eye toward the cross-platform metrics everyone seeks."

MFA Digital Committee Chair David Gaines commented: "The MFA has been a keen participant, active collaborator and contributor at both a technical and Board level in this tender process from inception in order to ensure an optimum outcome for the industry. While it has been a lengthy process, our members would be encouraged by the rigour and effort that has gone into providing the best solution for our market and we eagerly await the ability to start applying more relevant user data for online."

Australia is amongst the first countries to complete a formal tender and technical review process of hybrid measurement methodology and is the first to formally announce, through this process, an endorsed supplier of this methodology.

IAB Australia announced the tender process in late September 2010 and five online audience measurement submissions were received from Colmar Brunton with Gemius, ComScore, The Nielsen Company, Roy Morgan Research with Effective Measure and Vizisense. A specially convened Technical Review Group reviewed the submissions against detailed and extensive technical and business requirements, before making its recommendation to the IAB Australia Board.

The IAB Technical Review Group found that The Nielsen Company best met the technical criteria of the tender and offered the most accurate, robust and credible measurement data for Australian online audiences and websites.

The entire tender and review process was robust, extensive, rigorous and transparent and conducted with the upmost probity with TressCox Lawyers overseeing the process.

Source: IAB Australia

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