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Fairfax Media resumes commercial relationship with Nielsen

Fairfax Media has resumed its commercial relationship with IAB-endorsed measurement solution, Nielsen, after a seven-month hiatus.

The business’ metro division stopped tagging its platforms in March, due to disagreements over methodology, which included an inability to tag Google Accelerated Media Pages (AMP) data, and inaccurately measuring HTTPS browser sessions.

Fairfax Media’s digital properties will once again be counted in DCR

Today, Nielsen confirmed that from October 3, Fairfax Media had re-commenced tagging its mastheads, including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Australian Financial Review.

A Fairfax Media spokesperson told Mumbrella it welcomed improvements to the Digital Content Ratings measurement methodology.

“The improvements were necessary and provide a more accurate picture of our total audiences by capturing the ways people consume our content, including off-platform and mobile. Fairfax’s Metro business has now resumed its commercial relationship with Nielsen,” the spokesperson said.

It comes two months after the IAB Australia withdrew support for Nielsen’s video metric, which did not have a length-of-view qualifier. Mumbrella understands a number of publishers were frustrated at the seemingly enormous audience swells of some other online publications – such as Buzzfeed and Mamamia – once they added the video views to their numbers.

Mumbrella reported that following the implementation of video measurement, Buzzfeed’s reported daily reach in Australia appeared to increase from 250,000 to 3.5m, while Vice’s climbed from 55,000 to 300,000. In August, IAB Australia’s interim CEO Gai Le Roy said she did not believe measuring video views from the start, with no qualifying period for length of engagement, provided robust-enough data for media buyers and advertisers to make accurate decisions.

Currently, off-platform video views are counted as soon as a video commences playing, which means disengaged consumers who scroll immediately past an auto-play video would be counted. Nielsen has informed the market there will be a delay in delivering two-second viewing time qualifiers for DCR until February 2019.

Monique Perry, Nielsen’s managing director of media, said Fairfax Media was a “critical part” of the Australian media landscape and Nielsen’s digital measurement.

“We have worked hard with the IAB Australia to address the industry and Fairfax Media’s measurement needs. We are pleased to deliver methodology enhancements that improves the industry’s coverage of both their off-platform content and mobile audiences,” Perry said.

“We are pleased to be working with Fairfax on both digital measurement and EMMA CMV and look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship going forward.”

Fairfax Media is currently waiting on shareholder and ACCC approval for a merger with Nine, another client of Nielsen.

How do you solve a problem like measurement? – A timeline

2017:

25 July: Nielsen launches daily digital content ratings, provides off-platform audience measurement

2018:

26 February: Publishers’ Google Accelerated Media Pages traffic going unrecorded by Nielsen

2 March: Fairfax Media pulls out of Nielsen’s digital content ratings

13 March: Publishers question Nielsen’s Facebook measurement tool, as audiences apparently swell to 14 times their original size

7 June: How do you solve a problem like measurement? Media buyers speak about the future of Nielsen

21 June: Publishers refuse to pay Nielsen until metrics issues resolved ahead of launch of DCR Monthly next week

29 June: Digital publishers’ audiences are millions bigger than we realised, says Nielsen

2 July: BBC Global News withdraws from Nielsen and calls on IAB to look past big members’ interests

12 July: Nielsen swings continue as publishers seek to improve measurement coverage

6 August: More than one million added to Guardian Australia’s audience as DCR implements Google AMP data

8 August: IAB Australia pulls support for Nielsen video metric as publishers question its accuracy

13 August: Media buyers weigh in on Nielsen’s video measurement challenges

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