Digital Content Ratings: A Must-Have Guide to Implementation and Certification for the Joint Nielsen-Adobe solution

Seeking comprehensive measurement of audiences’ content consumption behaviors across digital devices and platforms?

Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (DCR), powered by Adobe, the industry’s first comprehensive measurement platform for digital content, provides this insight into digital audiences. Digital Content Ratings provides content owners with metrics matching those of traditional television such as average audience, reach, frequency, gross rating point (GRP) and time spent, and insights about viewership, that can in turn be used by advertisers and agencies to more accurately plan purchasing of ad inventory associated with digital content.

There are two options to enable Digital Content Ratings–one route is through Nielsen exclusively, another is through a partnership between Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. In this article, we will focus on the joint Nielsen and Adobe solution which enables Nielsen and Adobe partners to align their analytics and measurement and understand audience consumption behavior across all digital devices.

Since DCR’s beta release in October 2014, MaassMedia has configured Digital Content Ratings implementations for several of the nation’s largest broadcast media companies. In this article, we will share our experience and provide best practices for how to successfully move from implementation to certification for the joint Nielsen-Adobe approach.
First steps – Implementation and Tagging

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Implementation requirements vary from company to company, primarily because of customizations and nuances of the data collection and reporting systems organizations already have in place. This might include a company’s metadata about different TV channels and shows. Many organizations have been tracking video with Adobe for a while, and already have specific custom dimensions and metrics set up. Ensuring that the data from the new Adobe Heartbeat video measurement maps to their current data structure takes careful planning.

To use the joint Nielsen and Adobe solution, organizations need to implement a joint software development kit (SDK) that gathers user data for both Adobe Heartbeat and Nielsen. The SDK needs to be placed on the backend of each online video distribution platform. One decision that content owners must make early in the process is how the SDK will be implemented on their video platforms. They have two options; directly installing the SDK into the video platform, or using a tag management system (TMS), such as Adobe DTM or Tealium, to host the SDK. A TMS enables custom data collection without in-app or on-site coding.

Second step – Pre-Certification and Testing

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Once you have implemented the joint SDK, you still need to test that it works before you can begin the certification process for Nielsen and Adobe.

To pre-certify the joint SDK implementation, you will need to use a debugging tool to ensure that your system is collecting the correct data, and test use cases. These use cases can range from standard playback of the content, such as video starts and ad playbacks, to video interruption scenarios.

Once this pre-certification is complete, you can then fill out and submit the certification request form, (more on this in next step, Certification) and send it along to Adobe and Nielsen with the test builds of your apps and/or the development portion of your website.

Third Steps — Certification

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When you’ve thoroughly tested each use case, you can then send your certification request to Adobe and Nielsen. They provide a standard form, which you will fill out for each platform that you need certified. Your analytics QA team submits this form, along with debug logs from Adobe’s new Adobe Debug tool (in beta), the test builds of your app and/or the development portion of your website where the video player is housed.

After Adobe and Nielsen’s QA process, they will let you know independently if your mobile app or web player is certified for DCR measurement or if there are any updates you need to make to the SDK.

Once you have Adobe and Nielsen certify the implementation of the joint SDK and review your documentation, you can be sure that the data you’ve collected from different platforms accords with the standards they’ve set for the industry.

With the certifications from both companies, you are ready to submit your app to the appropriate app store or make the changes to your web player.

Maintaining the Certification

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While the bulk of the work with setting up Nielsen DCR, powered by Adobe is complete after you’ve done these first three steps, there is maintenance required to keep your certification up to date. On new app releases, you will have to perform a self-certification for Adobe Heartbeat, and Nielsen will perform a Lite Certification.

If there are major changes to the measurement plan for data collection for videos, then a full certification will need to be completed for both Adobe and Nielsen.  An example of a major change to your measurement plan would be implementing an entirely new video player on any of your devices.

Getting more from your data with Adobe Heartbeat video measurement

With the enhanced data you receive from your Adobe Heartbeat video analytics implementation, we advise that you create a metrics framework. The metrics framework is a strategic document that outlines your key video objectives, the success metrics that you will measure to meet      those objectives, along with reporting and segmentation strategies that will provide you with the data you need to make important decisions.

Key Takeaways

In short, the most important things you need to do to implement measurement with DCR, powered by Adobe, are as follows:

1) Implement the joint SDK on the backend of the online video distribution platforms from where you need to collect data.

2) Pre-certify your implementation. Run all of the use cases for your implementation and ensure that the correct data is being collected.

3) Send your certification request to Adobe and Nielsen, with their standard forms completed for each platform you need certified, along with the test build of the app or the development portion of your web player.

In the following blog in this series, we’ll provide more information about how to create a metrics framework for your Heartbeat data, as well as key visualizations that will help you make more actionable decisions around content development and distribution.

Learn more about how MaassMedia guides you to error-free Adobe and Nielsen data.

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