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Neilsen and YouTube Expand Partnership to Debut Co-Viewing Metric

‘We’re trying to help them get to an apples to apples comparison when it comes to planning and measuring YouTube content,’ a vice president for YouTube said


Media analytics company Neilsen and video platform YouTube are creating new metrics to measure advertising.

The companies will work together to produce co-viewing metrics that document and measure viewers watching YouTube TV as well as YouTube through connected TV.

The agreement is an expansion of a partnership the companies entered into in 2020. The agreement launched in 2021 when advertisements viewed on YouTube or YouTube TV via connected TV devices were incorporated into Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings and Total Ad ratings.

These metrics are considered industry-standard resources for buying and selling digital media. The rating provides “comprehensive cross-platform audience measurement” by “leveraging census-based data” to report audience reach across TV and digital platforms. Advertisers use the data to create effective campaigns and maximize their chances of reaching their desired audience.

Digital ads include those viewed on computers, smartphones, tablets, and connected TVs. The company’s Digital Ad Ratings are available in 27 countries, including France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“We really feel a responsibility to bring the best of digital capabilities to connected TVs to address the pain points that we’re hearing from advertisers,” Debbie Weinstein, the vice president of YouTube and video global solutions at Google, told Adweek. “We’re trying to help them get to an apples to apples comparison when it comes to planning and measuring YouTube content alongside TV content so that they can make better investment decisions.”

Advertisers will use the new metric to accurately measure the performance of their ads on YouTube and the YouTube TV app. 

“Because we’re actually able to now break out the dynamic of users watching CTV devices relative to mobile and desktop, we’re able to use that data a lot of different ways,” said Weinstein. “The ultimate thing [customers] want to understand is the relative impact of different media on their results and the outcomes from their campaigns, and that’s where these media mix models and marketing mix models really come is as essential, and for the first time customers will be able to see a breakdown of their CTV results in their MMM model.”

Nielsen reported in December 2021 that over 135 million people watch YouTube via an app on a connected TV and that 35% of those viewers were over the age of 18. Nielsen also noted that this audience subset cannot “be reached by any other ad-supported streaming service,” AdWeek noted.

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