WarnerMedia, IPG Mediabrands Partner for Alternative Measurement Test Ahead of Upfront

April 7, 2022 | Share this article

Comscore, iSpot and VideoAmp will measure identical campaigns as Discovery merger looms

WarnerMedia teamed up with IPG Mediabrands to test alternative measurements across the same campaigns, in one of the last announcements the company is expected to make ahead of its imminent merger with Discovery.

Top line

The partnership is in collaboration with Comscore, iSpot and VideoAmp and is designed to inform WarnerMedia’s strategy when it comes to alternative audience-based currency offerings ahead of this year’s upfront.

Between the lines

With Mediabrand’s Magna and as part of WarnerMedia’s efforts to create a measurement alternative to Nielsen, the three measurement companies will deliver IPG alternative measurement services across participating advertiser’s campaigns.

“Gearing up for the 2022 upfront, we have been committed to developing a more expansive portfolio of measurement solutions for our clients and partners,” said JP Colaco, president of advertising sales, WarnerMedia, in a statement. “This test-and-learn with Magna is one of the first steps in actionizing on our goal to offer best in class measurement capabilities and provide greater visibility into return on ad spend across our award-winning IP.”

WarnerMedia and IPG will implement alternative measurement across certain verticals and advertisers to try and evaluate the application of currencies beyond panels. This is the first of several expected trials.

“As media consumption habits have shifted beyond just traditional linear television to multiple platforms and devices, a greater diversification of measurement systems is critical to support the growth and effectiveness of advertising,” said Dani BenowitzU.S. president, Magna, in a statement. “This increasingly-fragmented ecosystem has complicated the task of driving a consumer through the purchase funnel, so we’re excited to test-and-learn new ways to measure the effectiveness of our advertising with WarnerMedia.”

Bottom line

The move comes just days ahead of the expected close of the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger, and is one of several recent alternative measurement initiatives the company has taken. At the next upfront, the company hopes to have a portion of its inventory based off an alternative measurement solution.

However, WarnerMedia declined to comment on how the merger—which could close as early as Friday—will affect these alternative measurement and upfront plans. Discovery is currently engaged in its own data trial pilot with Omnicom Media Group, using measurement data from Comscore and VideoAmp, and it is unclear how the combined company, which will be called Warner Bros. Discovery, will approach alternative measurement after the deal closes.

Several top WarnerMedia execs—including CEO Jason Kilar and evp, chief revenue officer Tony Goncalves (whose purview included U.S. ad sales)—have already announced their departure ahead of the merger.

Last month, WarnerMedia and Paramount partnered for the first-ever alternative measurement test during the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. WarnerMedia first announced plans to create a measurement alternative to Nielsen last year, following that company’s public stumbles throughout the pandemic.

Last month, Nielsen was acquired by a consortium of private equity firms for $16 billion following a year of measurement woes. While the company has promised to make the appropriate fixes, this new partnership is the latest example of other media companies creating their own measurement alternatives.

Read the full article in Adweek.