Nielsen ID resolution to underpin audience measurement


Information, data and market measurement firm Nielsen says its new ID resolution system will underpin its audience and outcomes measurement products in a cookie-less world to support cross-media, including digital.

Consistent with its mission of providing trusted and independent measurement, Nielsen will continue to deliver holistic, people-based measurement across all platforms and publishers and deduplicate devices, content and ad exposure even as existing identifiers can no longer be relied upon.

To combat the issue of data erosion and prepare for an increasingly fragmented future, Nielsen is advancing its technology to deliver differentiated measurement and outcomes data to the industry. The move to people-based data sets trained and calibrated by Nielsen’s panel truth set and underpinned by identity will best position the company and allow for true cross-channel measurement. With this new ID methodology, advertisers can maintain confidence that when an ad is viewed by an individual, the audience count is accurately deduplicated and measured across all platforms including mobile, PC and television and demographics and outcomes are validated accordingly.

According to Nielsen, accuracy is paramount for measurement and outcomes. Unlike the ID resolution used for targeting, IDs used for measurement must be consistent and persistent across platforms, publishers and devices to ensure audience behaviour and preferences are observed with accuracy and precision. Nielsen ID utilises persistent, device-agnostic identifiers that have been validated against its high-quality panel truth sets, enabling Nielsen to verify demographic characteristics and viewership over time across all media.

To reconcile various first-party IDs and replace third party cookies across the digital ecosystem, Nielsen will work with The Trade Desk and the industry on Unified ID 2.0, an open and interoperable ID built on hashed and encrypted email addresses. It will provide a framework for interoperability between the Nielsen ID and Nielsen’s direct integrations across platforms and publishers, enabling Nielsen to deliver comprehensive and comparable measurement.

“By underpinning our audience and outcomes measurement products with our unique ID resolution methodology, we are futureproofing our business and products from ongoing technology and regulatory changes,” claimed Mainak Mazumdar, Chief Data Officer at Nielsen. “Backed by Nielsen’s gold-standard panels, we are building the blocks for a privacy-centric, flexible approach to measuring individuals’ exposure to ads across all media to power the media industry well into the future.”

To build its comprehensive solution, Nielsen is utilising a variety of data, direct integrations and new technologies as well as its measurement-specific identity graph. The company continues to evolve the foundation of its people-based measurement by leveraging machine learning models to expand measurement. Nielsen’s ID resolution system comprises:

  • Ecosystem Connectivity: Direct integrations with publishers and advertisers to access information associated with actual people and the devices they use over time, and don’t depend on device IDs or the browser/app ecosystem.
  • Nielsen ID: Nielsen will utilise its panels to correct biases and drive comparability, and combine data across various data sources in a privacy-centric manner to link people to households and devices to support measurement.
  • Machine Learning Models: Proprietary machine learning models that integrate and enrich data across environments to ensure accuracy, comparability and representation in measurement and outcomes products.

As Nielsen combines linear and addressable TV and digital data assets onto a single platform, the ID methodology will scale the holistic measurement across all premium video across all media. On the heels of its digital transformation, the company has reimagined its offerings to ensure the flexibility to adapt to ongoing changes in the technology and privacy landscape. Nielsen’s ownership of the technology stack, data science expertise, back-end infrastructure and data sources will allow the company to maintain independence and approach ID resolution with a resilient system that can ingest new datasets as the industry evolves and new sources become available.

Nielsen is actively working with the Media Rating Council (MRC) to review the new resolution methodology to ensure it meets the standards for audience measurement. Nielsen will begin its phased approach to rolling out the ID resolution system in the US beginning early Q1 2021. Its next generation methodology for measurement will flow into Digital Ad Ratings, Total Ad Ratings, Digital Content Ratings, Total Content Ratings, Digital in TV Ratings, Nielsen Attribution and Nielsen Campaign Lift.


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