Nielsen set to battle GfK to retain IAB online audience measurement contract

IABThe Interactive Advertising Bureau has whittled its shortlist for the important digital audience-measurement contract down to two providers, with incumbent Nielsen set to battle it out with GfK for the spoils.

A tender process kicked off earlier this year with 23 companies throwing their hats in the ring in the expressions of interest stage, while in July a shortlist of four companies, which included Roy Morgan and US measurement giant ComScore was announced.

However, both of those companies failed to make it through to the final round after a technical presentation to a panel chaired by industry veteran Ian Muir.

Alice Manners, IAB CEO said in a statement:  “After conducting a technical evaluation of the four proposals, Nielsen and GfK’s proposals were found to have offered solutions and local investment that best meet our very demanding brief.

“We are extremely pleased the tender has generated so much interest both here and overseas – interest that galvanises Australia’s position as a leader in innovative audience-measurement methodology.”

Nielsen has held the contract since 2011, but is understood to have promised substantial improvements to its current system. Key to this year’s tender is thought to be a better provision of mobile measurement as Nielsen has been subject to criticism from some corners of the industry for errors and discrepancies with both the online and video numbers, and has been accused of not reflecting the growth that some publishers, such as The Guardian, claim they are seeing in their internal metrics.

GfK is known in the market for providing the radio ratings measurement, taking over that contract earlier this year from Nielsen and adding interactive diaries to the system. It is understood GfK’s is a joint bid with measurement company Aztec.

The final decision is expected to be made in early October.


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