Nielsen-2020-375

After selling its Global Connect business for $2.4 billion, Nielsen is investing in Nielsen One, the highly touted offering that will use a single metric to measure streaming and linear TV viewing, allowing advertisers and content providers to look at total video consumption regardless of platform or device.

The company plans to up its capital expenditures to improve the way it tracks TV audiences, CFO Linda Zukauckas tells the Wall Street Journal. Much of that investment will go to Nielsen One which is expected to launch next year.

The product couldn’t come soon enough for the TV industry, which has watched as streaming audiences surged during the pandemic as more and more households cut the cord with traditional pay TV services.

Investing in the new system could be good news for the audio industry, too. During an investor conference in early March, Nielsen CEO Dave Kenny hinted that a similar system may be in development for audio. “I think getting to the equivalent of a Nielsen One in audio is,” Kenny said, before pausing. “We didn’t announce that yet but we’re really working to make sure that the audio business also stays robust and takes advantage of both its digital components and its linear components,” Kenny said in a Q&A with Toni Kaplan, Executive Director of Equity Research at Morgan Stanley.

While Nielsen One for Audio is still in development, measuring the totality of audio listening, whether that occurs on a traditional AM/FM receiver, a mobile device, game consoles, smart TV or other device, would be a big step forward. The amount of audio consumed on digital devices – including AM/FM radio programming – continues to grow, accelerated by the pandemic.

Some of the cap ex headed toward the development of Nielsen One will come from the sale of Global Connect, which measures consumer shopping purchases and has been renamed NielsenIQ.

Zukauckas told the Journal she is curtailing investments in products with less potential for revenue growth and redirecting some of that cash toward Nielsen One.

“The bulk of the time, energy and money should be going toward the development of Nielsen One because this is fundamentally the future of the business,” Surinder Thind, Senior VP of Equity Research at financial-services firm Jefferies LLC, told the Journal.