Marketing analytics firm 605 counts among a number of companies hoping to fill in some of the gaps in measuring video audiences as more companies push for alternatives to the current standard, Nielsen.
The company, founded by Kristen Dolan and backed by Dolan Family Ventures, the family investment arm long associated with former Cablevision as well as AMC Networks, plans to use its data to launch a media trading currency that can conduct ad transactions between advertisers and media networks. The 605 Exchange uses a wealth of data that examines audience and advertising metrics daily. The company intends to use data from 22 million American households.
In an interview, Dolan says she expects 605 to be one of a handful of companies vying to provide new ways to count audiences watching their favorite shows on both their linear television and their digital counterparts. “There is a consensus now that there will be multiple forms of currency,” she says. “The whole world changed on September 1, when he lost his Nielsen accreditation.”
Measurement giant Nielsen continues to offer viewing scheduling which remains the most widely used method in the industry. But the company has come under intense scrutiny in recent months, with television networks claiming Nielsen was not correctly counting audiences during the pandemic and the Media Rating Board revoking its accreditation for Nielsen’s national rating service. This opened a window for the media industry to start experimenting with new measurement concepts.
Keeping track of the masses is already becoming more and more difficult. More and more viewers are watching TV with broadband delivery at the times of their choice, resulting in smaller groups with separate purchase characteristics. Nielsen tracks total viewership for a long time and breaks it down according to age and gender characteristics. But Madison Avenue calls for more reliable measures based on purchase intent and product affinity.
Nielsen told customers it knows it needs to move faster, and is already working on a new system that calculates audiences via linear and digital display windows. Nielsen recently announced that it intends to overhaul the current baseline measurement of audiences for commercial breaks and instead track individual ad viewership across different media sites.
Dolan 605 works along some of these lines, largely in the science of marketing known as attribution, or tracing the thread from a consumer’s exposure to a commercial to an actual sale of a product. The company is already involved in some emerging efforts to build new metering systems, including one of the media industry’s backed OpenAP systems.
The company intends to start an “open partner” program that will collaborate with marketers, programmers, and media agencies to begin developing independent measurement efforts. Collaborators will be able to use 605 Exchange as a “tracking currency” in 2022, specifically for premium national video. In the long term, 605 expects to add features based on input from partners.
Several media companies have indicated that they intend to introduce their own metrics for viewer activity, a development that has raised Madison Avenue concerns that advertisers will have to base viewership on figures released by companies serving content along which commercials run — which essentially have a demander, for lack of Better analogy, classify his homework. But 605 says its measurement will remain independent. The Company has pledged that it will not trade or take a position in any media.