Currencies, Clean Rooms, and the Up/Newfronts

Last month, our media team participated in the Upfront and Newfront presentations. These events represent updates from our media partners including new programming, attribution partnerships, distribution updates, and more.

Leading up to the meetings, we had an expectation that companies operating in the linear space would focus a lot of attention on the topic of alternate currencies. For years, upfront deals have been built on audience delivery guarantees tied to Nielsen viewership data.

Exploring New Currencies

Following the suspension of Nielsen’s accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC), media companies began looking for alternate solutions, which would also allow for cross-platform audience verification. One such example was NBCUniversal, which sent RFPs to over 100 companies in search of a new currency provider. In March, the company announced that it would be leveraging iSpot.tv data as the currency for national ad buys. Most of the broader discussion has been about secondary guarantees, which do not replace Nielsen, but begin to test the waters for new measurement approaches.

Clean Rooms

Data clean rooms have also been a key topic in attribution discussions, and Roku revealed a new solution in this space ahead of the Upfront/Newfront season. Roku’s clean room will be a “privacy-first data collaboration environment that allows advertisers and agencies to use their encrypted first-party data to make planning and measuring advertising campaigns with Roku easier, all without relying on cookies or consortiums.”

Our agency has embarked on a first-of-its-kind relationship with iSpot.tv to help solve this gap in the marketplace. We will continue to leverage all available data, including audience data verified by Nielsen and Comscore, in-week performance data confirmed by platform data and iSpot.tv, and most importantly, Market Mix Modeling which will evaluate the total impact of all marketing channels on incremental sales.

Clean rooms also require the integration of both advertiser and publisher data. While this concept is still new to market, Rain the Growth Agency will continue to explore various technology solutions to prepare for the next evolution of data, attribution and privacy needs.

Interestingly, the Upfront presentations overall contained very little content pertaining to these items, with most of the discussion happening prior.

Overall, agencies, media companies, and brands are all seeking a common currency that will allow for audience verification across channels and platforms, and more sophisticated measurement.

This article is featured in Media Impact Report No. 35. View the full report here.

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