Nielsen Splitting In Two
For the past three years Nielsen’s strategic vision has languished somewhere between its legacy media measurement business and the rapidly evolving consumer measurement space. As is the case with many companies who are focused on more than one thing, the performance on both sides has been poor. As a result investors have lost confidence in Nielsen, driving its stock from the low $50s in 2016 to $23 today.
To address this problem Nielsen has come up with a plan to split the company into two separate entities. This will create two independent, publicly traded companies, a Global Media business and a Global Connect business. Global Media will include its existing TV and Radio measurement platforms, while Global Connect will focus on consumer purchase measurement and attribution.
The creation of Global Connect is the acknowledgement that Nielsen is struggling to keep up with other measurement companies in digital media. MTA (multi-touch attribution) vendors are sprouting up left and right with cutting edge formulas to measure consumers’ entire purchase journey. Comparatively, Nielsen is still using 90s era Catalina register purchase data to measure activity from customers exposed to a single publisher or media outlet. The hope is by running Global Connect as an independent company they can apply focus and resources to create a more contemporary measurement platform.
As the saying goes, admitting you have a problem is the first step. Now let’s see if this new plan can actually solve Nielsen’s problems.