NBCUniversal said it hired a senior executive from Nielsen to oversee new efforts to help advertisers measure their commercials’ reach and effectiveness amid an outbreak of new tensions between the TV networks and the large measurement company.
Kelly Abcarian was named executive vice president of measurement and impact at NBCU’s ad-sales unit, charged with helping advertisers find ways to gauge how many consumers their marketing efforts reach across NBCU’s portfolio of media properties. That task has taken on new importance for Madison Avenue as more consumers migrate from linear TV to streaming, on-demand video — and as companies like NBCU seek better pricing for ads that run on streaming-video venues.
Abcarian had been general manager of Nielsen’s advanced video advertising group, where she led efforts to measure the effectiveness of so-called “addressable” advertising that can be placed depending on a wider array of characteristics than traditional linear ads. She had also spent time at Nielsen overseeing its portfolio of audience measurement products. In previous roles, Abcarian has worked at Oracle, Siebel Systems and Arthur Andersen.
The unit Abcarian led at Nielsen was recently sold to Roku as part of a broader agreement that has Roku using some of Nielsen’s measurement technology.
“Kelly Abcarian’s addition to our team represents a step change for our company and the industry, when it comes to the future of cross-platform measurement and data innovation,” said Krishan Bhatia, president and chief business officer, for NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships, in a prepared statement. “Consumers have established an all-screen future and we’re doubling down on our position to usher in the next era of measurement. Kelly has decades-long measurement and advanced advertising experience, along with deep connections within the media industry and a partnership track record across CTV/OTT platforms.” Abcarian will report to Bhatia.
She is expected to help boost NBCU’s efforts in several areas. The company has in recent months adopted a strategy that folds in both linear and digital advertising into a single effort, a task many traditional media companies have worked to enact as they launch new ad-supported streaming hubs. Abcarian will also play a role in developing NBCU’s strategy with consumers data, which media companies are gathering more of as they sign customers to streaming-video subscriptions.