Nielsen seeks additional bolt-on acquisitions after eXelate — President

Provided exclusively by Mergermarket

Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN), the global information and measurement company, seeks additional acquisitions similar to eXelate in the next 12 to 18 months to strengthen its offering in the programmatic media space, said Global President Steve Hasker.

Hasker told this news service on the sidelines at the Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference today that the company is also looking for technology opportunities internationally that can be applied to the US market.

Nielsen completed the USD 200m acquisition of eXelate in March. “The acquisition proves to be very beneficial to our customers,” Hasker said, as eXelate facilitates their buying and selling decisions across programmatic platforms.

Earlier at the conference, James Murdoch, CEO at 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ: FOX) told investors that the company uses Rentrak (NASDAQ: RENT), Nielsen’s smaller rival, as its sole media rating provider in Texas, and is “waiting for traditional ratings companies to catch up” to the task of measuring streaming viewers.

Such viewers, watching television through over-the-top (OTT) services such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), present an enormous challenge for Nielsen, as they are notoriously difficult to measure.

When asked about the competition from Rentrak, Hasker said that although Rentrak has “interesting analytics”, they lack a “person’s data,” which is powered by Nielsen’s people metering technology.

Nielsen has made previous attempts to bolster its efforts in this area, including a partnership with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) in 2013. On the sidelines of the same conference, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts reiterated that the company is always looking for new ways to provide better data on OTT viewership, but said that no new announcements with Nielsen were forthcoming.

Another effort has included a partnership with ad tech company Criteo (NASDAQ:CRTO), whose CEO JB Rudelle, also speaking on the Communacopia sidelines, said that, despite the promise of the partnership, online TV measurement is still “far too early” for big, new initiatives in the advertising technology space.

by Tong Zhang and Jonathan Guilford

As seen in the mergermarket newsletter on 16/09/2015

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