TikTok changes how it measures ads, Univision grows, political advertising explodes: Datacenter Weekly

Plus, Comscore, iSpot and VideoAmp get JIC nod, macroeconomic news in a nutshell, and more.

TikTok changes how it measures ads, Univision grows, political advertising explodes: Datacenter Weekly

Welcome to Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, our data-obsessed newsletter for marketing and media professionals.

TikTok to use a ‘self-attributing network’ to measure ad conversions

“TikTok is adopting a new form of ad measurement after claiming it deserved more credit for sales that come from its platform,” Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports. “It will now use a ‘self-attributing network’ to report its successes.”

The details: “TikTok announced earlier this week that it was opening the ‘self-attributing network,’ with plans to fully implement it by March 2024,” Sloane adds. “The measurement reporting still runs through a group of approved third-party providers, including Kochava, AppsFlyer, Singular and Adjust, and TikTok still works with these measurement companies, but it will provide important conversion data through the self-attributing network. Conversions are when an ad leads to a result—a download or a sale.”

Essential context: “The move puts TikTok more in line with how social media companies such as Meta have always measured,” Sloane notes. “But for advertisers, a self-attributing network raises concerns that TikTok could become more of a closed system that grades its own homework, according to marketing experts.”

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Comscore, iSpot and VideoAmp get JIC conditional certification for audience measurement

“The U.S. Joint Industry Committee has conditionally certified Comscore, iSpot.tv and VideoAmp for audience measurement, anointing what industry had already identified as the leading contenders to cut into Nielsen’s dominance in TV and cross-platform measurement,” Ad Age’s Jack Neff reports.

The timing: “The move comes a week ahead of a key Media Rating Council vote on accreditation of Nielsen’s big data and panel data integration, expected as soon as Sept. 27, after having initially been set for today, according to people familiar with the matter,” Neff notes. “Nielsen has declined to participate in the JIC process so far, with company executives citing primarily a demand that all participants be required to have MRC accreditation.”

Essential context: “The two evaluation tracks are not mutually exclusive,” Neff adds. “JIC certification includes a requirement that measurement companies seek MRC accreditation. While the MRC aims to evaluate measurement companies for broad use, a major driver of JIC certification is to evaluate those that want to tap into the aggregated streaming server data of JIC members.”

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Political advertising spending to hit $12 billion, per Assembly

“Political advertising spending is projected to hit a record $12 billion during the 2024 U.S. election cycle, with $3 billion expected to be spent in the presidential race alone, according to a new report from Stagwell media agency Assembly,” Ad Age’s Lindsay Rittenhouse reports.

More details: “Advertising spend is expected to hit $9 billion in down-ballot races, according to the agency’s 2024 Election Outlook report—equal to how much was spent in total on political advertising during the 2020 U.S. presidential election cycle,” Rittenhouse notes.

Essential context: “There will be fewer competitive statewide races in 2024 than there were in 2022,” Rittenhouse adds, “meaning more investment will be driven into fewer campaigns, per the report, which noted that there could be two to three record $300 million campaigns for U.S. Senate races. Similarly, ‘we’ve only seen a few House races top the $50 million mark; 2024 could see quite a few,’ the report said.”

Flashback: In July, Vivvix CMAG projected that political ad spending would hit $11.5 billion, which Vivvix CMAG’s Steve Passwaiter called a “conservative number” in an Ad Age guest post.

Univision rises among U.S. TV networks

Univision rose to No. 13 among U.S. TV networks as ranked by viewership share (1.68%) from June 1 though Aug. 31, according to Inscape, the data division of smart TV giant Vizio. A year earlier, Univision was No. 15 (with a 1.43% viewership share).

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Ad Age Datacenter is Kevin Brown, Bradley Johnson and Joy R. Lee.