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CFlight: Why NBCUniversal Debuted a Cross-Platform Ad Metric

In an emerging market hungry for unified metrics, does it make sense for one broadcaster to go it alone? NBCUniversal hopes so, as it introduced CFlight last week, a unified ad metric that combines live, on-demand, and time-shifted ad views, and does so for all viewing platforms including Roku and Hulu.

NBCU, CFlightNot only does the market want unification, it also wants verification and transparency. NBCU answers that by basing CFlight stats on composite scores from independent third-party sources including Nielsen, Comscore, and Moat. For advertisers, the format measures all episodic ad impressions on both linear and digital over the course of a campaign.

Measuring over-the-top (OTT) viewing is an imperative for NBCU, as IP streaming now makes up more than a third of its long-form digital views. Marketers will be able to use CFlight to plan campaigns and buy placement across all screens. The company says it’s committed to creating future innovations around cross-platform measurement.

“We have waited for the industry standard and it hasn’t happened,” says Laura Molen, executive vice president for lifestyle and Hispanic advertising sales at NBCU, referring to The Media Rating Council’s difficulty in launching a uniform measurement. “We can no longer wait because viewership is moving so much further to digital. Consumers are viewing content wherever, whenever they want.” Molen was quoted in The Drum.

NBCU used the Olympics as a test case for measuring all views across all screens, but notes that was only the beginning. With CFlight, it aims to prove that advertisers will reach premium audiences with its content no matter where the views take place.

“As consumers continue to shift their viewing seamlessly across platforms, it is essential for us to develop measurement and currency that counts and values those audiences in a similar manner,” says David Cohen, president, North America for MAGNA. “NBCU has taken a significant step forward in developing a methodology that capitalizes on linear television currency, and enhances it with industry-leading digital measurement to arrive at a universal view.”


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