MSA weighs in on Media industry headwind Seconds-Based Commercial Measurement

The recent MediaPost article, ‘Mining Value From Seconds-Based TV Measurement 02/27/2024 (, provided a great overview for some of the challenges and opportunities that Nielsen’s forthcoming ICM (Individual Commercial Metric) may create for the publishers and advertisers in the linear TV advertising space.

While data driven linear, advanced targeting more generally, along with the competing alternative currencies that are available are also potentials to disrupt the current way linear campaigns are sold, measured and optimized, to date those make up a small percentage of the overall dollars that are guaranteed on linear TV. If the ICM metric is adopted, it has the potential to be as large a change as when the industry shifted from program-based audiences to the C3/C7 metric that still serves as the predominant currency today. When that change was made, MSA had the opportunity to work with several networks to better understand how the break structures impacted the overall commercial audience as measured by Nielsen and how to best maximize the C3/C7 metrics based on those learnings.

As touched on in the MediaPost article, the individual commercial metric will create significant potential value in terms of optimizing the scheduling of the units in order to minimize any over and under-delivery for the guaranteed deals. MSA offers a scheduling optimization solution, Eyemax, which does this based on the current C3/C7 industry currency.

Building on the knowledge gained from the aforementioned granular break structure analytics, this solution can be enhanced to account for the expected audience delivery based on which break and where in a break a given commercial is scheduled to optimally place each spot so as to best meet the guaranteed audience goals across all the deals the publisher has sold.

Of course, the core question really is, given the ongoing shift from linear TV viewing to streaming, and the potential impact on that shift that the recent live sports bundle might have, is whether there will really be a push from either the advertisers or the publishers to utilize the new measurement currency? From the publisher side, there is a lot of value to being able to manage the guarantee at this granularity. Given this, as long as the publishers believe that linear TV is not going away for the foreseeable future, and assuming they have a solution like Eyemax, that can deliver the additional value that the individual commercial metric affords, it would seem to make a lot of sense to embrace the opportunity and move forward with incorporating it as part of their guaranteed deals.