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What Now? –Nielsen Closes Division which Measures Digital Placed Based OOH

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Nielsen Closes Division which Measures Digital Placed Based OOH


Nielsen has shut down its 12-year-old place-based video networks measurement service. This has left a number of our digital OOH place based brothren and sistren without.

Nielsen’s statement—

“Nielsen regularly reviews our product portfolio to ensure we have the right mix of capabilities and services to address the needs of our clients today and in the future. As a result, effective October 1, 2020, we have decided to exit our U.S.-based analytic services that estimates audience traffic for cinema and place-based networks, such as airports, bars, restaurants, hospitals and office buildings,”  

“The decision to close this branch of analytics is aligned to the company’s portfolio optimization strategy, streamlining focus and maximizing efforts against stated strategic priorities.”

Obviously the closure comes as many place-based media channels have been challenged  by shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


OOH Industry Leaders’ Comments

We asked Kym Frank, President of Geopath for comments. Here’s what she had to say. 

“In recent years, Geopath members encouraged the organization to expand the formats that we measure. Buyers have told us that it makes it easier for them to justify spending in the channel when there is unified, apples-to-apples currency across all forms of OOH, DOOH and VOOH. We worked with committee to develop a methodology that provides accurate measurement for the space that is on par with the data we provided our roadside and transit members.

We received an overwhelming response from owners of place-based media to the recent roll-out of our methodology – encompassing inventory in airports, bars, malls, restaurants, stadiums, gyms, office buildings, etc.

We have already onboarded our first 48 members and are providing measurement for hundreds of thousands of place-based ads.  We would welcome any companies that were previously measured by Nielsen to reach out to us about joining our organization. Measuring OOH/DOOH/VOOH is our top (and only!) priority. We can offer state-of-the-art measurement that will not be discontinued or deprioritized”


Barry Frey, President and CEO of the DPAA provided OOH Today with these comments.

“We are very pleased that there are myriad of outstanding and very granular third party data sources available to our individual members and the industry as a whole, much of which has been traded on already.  The DPAA continues to support its members and the industry and is already working with all stakeholders to ensure that all third party measurement systems are properly evaluated.  We view this as an opportunity to take our industry measurement to a higher standard and we thus look forward to having an extremely advanced, state of the art research currency.

Our industry’s ability to engage with audiences on the go has enabled us to attract digital, video and TV budgets to our screens.  As the world reopens, we look forward to having our audiences continue to deliver proven results to the leading brands and agencies.  We shall enthusiastically continue as “Video is Everywhere” as we are pleased to operate within an Omnichannel advertising world.  More on this topic to come at the 2020 DPAA Video Everywhere Conference where we shall shortly be announcing a blockbuster set of speakers.”


In Industry Support, Trust

As OOH Providers select a 3rd party for measurement or data source, make sure they are fully supported by the Industry. It is not a big leap to suggest, Nielsen as a business, did not have enough support by the OOH Industry whether by the various place based ad-sellers or otherwise to pay enough to support the service.

Arguably, the Covid-19 is the culprit, but many other advertising measurement organizations who were economically wounded along with their members, are still supported.  Respective 3rd party measurement/data organizations and its Industry members, are still backed with their measurement currencies, regardless of the negative impact of COVID-19 may have had.

When considering selecting any organizations or private enterprise for measurement or data, take into account: 1. is there substantive Industry-wide support? 2. What would it take for them pull the plug as Nielsen did?  Nielsen is a global marketing research firm trusted for its measurement and data analytics which it provides on markets worldwide. 

We’ll make no bones about it, OOH Today is fully supportive of Geopath as ‘the keeper‘ of
OOH currency (data/measurement). We encourage everyone who raises an OOH banner, to do so as well.


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