BBM and Nielsen announce progress on the joint venture front
In a letter to clients last week, Canada's two major measurement companies unveiled the name of their long-awaited electronic television ratings joint venture - BBM Nielsen Media Research - and said that barring any glitches, they expect it to be up and running in time for the 2007 television season.
In a letter to clients last week, Canada’s two major measurement companies unveiled the name of their long-awaited electronic television ratings joint venture – BBM Nielsen Media Research – and said that barring any glitches, they expect it to be up and running in time for the 2007 television season.
This is welcome news for the industry that has been waiting for further developments on the venture since the agreement to merge the electronic measurement services was announced in July 2004. Since 1996, Canada has been one of the few countries in the world to have two TV measurement currencies evaluating the same audience. Although some segments felt having competing services was good for the industry, many broadcasters, advertisers, and agencies believed it was much too costly given the size of the market.
Sunni Boot, president and CEO of ZenithOptimedia, says, ‘Our concern was that we had two currencies in the market place from two different sources. Of course we will have multiple currencies meter, diary etc., but it is important that we have a single supplier of these in order to reduce confusion and be grounded in solid audience measurement agreed to by both buyer and seller.’
Instead of the redundancy of two systems working against one another and duplicating efforts, Boot says ZenithOptimedia wanted the cost of just one and then to focus the rest of the dollars into advanced measurement to capture how, as well as when, people are watching TV.
In addition, she says, a single service would also allow for expansion of the national electronic meter measurement panel into more markets and the replacement of diaries in as many areas as possible.
During the regulatory approval process, organizations such as the Association of Canadian Advertisers expressed concerns over the merger to the Competition Bureau. While the ACA agreed with the promise to improve efficiencies and lower costs, it believed that reducing competition would effectively create a broadcaster-controlled monopoly and called for safeguards to be put into place that would ensure that the interests of broadcasters, advertisers, and agencies be served equally. The new venture will provide audience data only. Both BBM and Nielsen Media Research will continue to offer their other software products and information services.