Fairfax Media cuts ties with measurement firm Nielsen

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 2 March 2018

Fairfax Media has pulled out of Nielsen's digital content ratings that provides brands and agencies with daily audience data.
The publisher will instead provide the market with its own “independently audited” audience data.

A Fairfax Media spokesperson told AdNews: “Fairfax’s digital innovation is far outpacing standard audience measurement metrics. Our leading-edge digital publishing platforms now provide us direct and instant audience insights for our metropolitan mastheads.

“We will use our rich data – and have it independently audited – to provide advertisers with a complete picture of our high-quality, highly-engaged digital audiences. Accordingly, Fairfax’s metro business has decided not to continue its commercial relationship with Nielsen.”

The Sydney Morning Herald's website was the fourth largest in terms of traffic in January, according to Nielsen figures, and pulling out of its ratings will be a significant blow for Nielsen's daily ratings.

The move doesn't affect the ability of Nielsen to report Fairfax Media monthly ratings but it could impair its accuracy. Nielsen's monthly ratings are derived from panel and SDK tag tracking. Fairfax Media is no longer tagging its content so its monthly data will be derived purely from Nielsen's panel.

Nielsen's DCR data uses tagging to determine audience size and will no longer feature Fairfax Media's mastheads.

AdNews understands the publisher is unhappy with the Nielsen's audience figures because it doesn’t measure off platform mobile traffic "particularly well" or "content behind https". The move won't affect EMMA audience data.

IAB Australia told AdNews the impasse was between Fairfax Media and Nielsen.

"IAB Australia is aware Fairfax's Metro business has decided to end their commercial relationship with Nielsen. As a result, Fairfax Metro properties will no longer be included in Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR) or Nielsen Market Intelligence. Fairfax Media remains a committed IAB Board member. The IAB continues to champion the digital measurement currency and the evolution of DCR."

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