Adobe, Nielsen form digital content analytics alliance

The aim is to eradicate the differences marketers and content producers see between metrics in back-end systems and public ratings.

Adobe and Nielsen have formed a partnership that aims to track content and engagement metrics across multiple Internet protocol devices ranging from desktops to smartphones to tablets to TV and game consoles so chief marketing officers can get to one source of the truth.

The effort combines one of the leading keepers of digital content ratings with Adobe's analytics platform. The aim is to eradicate the differences marketers and content producers see between metrics in back-end systems and public ratings. If all goes well, panels tracking web content will give way to more accurate measurements via a census approach.

According to the companies, the partnership will also lead to easier implementations for marketers, media companies and advertisers and track everything from video to audio to text. Adobe and Nielsen will pre-integrate tagging systems and software development kits for enterprises. Tracking content consumption and engagement has become a major issue for companies.

"This (partnership) is an opportunity for marketers and publishers who need to move at the speed of consumers and buy effectively across platforms," said Ashley Still, Senior Director, Primetime at Adobe.

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Indeed, Adobe's Video Benchmark Report shows that online TV consumption is up 388 percent from a year ago. Smartphones are the most popular way to watch video and even topped tablets slightly.

Adobe and Nielsen executives said the alliance's flagship product, Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Powered by Adobe, won't be generally available until 2015. No timeline beyond 2015 has been set. Media companies such as ESPN, Univision, Turner and Sony Pictures are among the initial beta participants. Although those media companies have significant video operations, the Adobe-Nielsen partnership covers digital content not Nielsen's TV ratings.

Enterprises deploying the platform by Nielsen and Adobe would have to be joint customers of Adobe's Analytics and Primetime services and Nielsen's measurement data. The companies acknowledged customer overlap, but didn't have specific statistics.

The potential benefits from the Adobe-Nielsen combination would be more accurate real-time reporting and better allocation of marketing dollars. Typically, marketers have an analytics number internally and different figures from rating services. "We're going to marry site analytics with the rating to get to a single source of the truth," said Lynda Clarizio, President, U.S. Media, Nielsen.

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