Measurement Landscape Sparks Chatter in the Industry, Leaders React to VAB/NBCUniversal Framework

By Chris Kelly January 18, 2022

Measurement Landscape Sparks Chatter in the Industry, Leaders React to VAB/NBCUniversal Framework

For years, the measurement landscape has been known to be a jumbled, chaotic space, lacking a common understanding, language and framework. Special thanks and acknowledgement to the VAB’s Measurement Innovation Task Force, and Kelly Abcarian of NBCUniversal, for taking on the herculean task and creating this graphic for presentation at the most recent Beet Retreat. 

This depiction of the measurement landscape has been making the rounds since, and is a hot topic amongst the companies represented. Kelly invited the industry to provide feedback in an effort to continuously improve upon the current framework, so we went around to some of our friends in the ecosystem and got their two cents. How do they think this model represents them now? What – if any – changes would they make to V1.0? Where do they see it moving in the future?

Leaders throughout the industry agree this was a much-needed framework. Jessica Hogue, GM of Measurement and Industries at Innovid said “As a friend and former colleague for nearly a decade, I was not at all surprised Kelly assumed the mantle of shaking up the measurement industry. She’s created a conversation around innovation, which is desperately needed. As our media economy is increasingly digitized, we see an emerging market for a new impression-based, currency-grade measurement standard. Advertisers need a solution that harmonizes KPIs, from Audience Measurement to Outcomes, and offers the flexibility to define these by brand, by campaign, or by use case. We expect to see more focus on sales impact and outcomes, but that won’t be at the expense of other metrics that, combined, provide a holistic view of the customer journey.”

Bob Ivins, Chief Strategy Officer of TVSquared also commented on the enormity of the task that NBCUniversal took on here. “Today’s end-to-end converged TV ecosystem is fragmented and complex. However, NBCU’s recent measurement framework, presented by Kelly Abcarian, laid out all of the companies across components in an easy-to-understand mosaic. Given NBCU’s Measurement Innovation initiative, which spanned 100+ companies, it was sufficiently informed to produce such a work of art and bring some semblance of order to the “chaos.” That said, it is still too complex. If TV is to change the trajectory of ad spending, we need to simplify the ecosystem for advertisers. That’s why I expect to see significant consolidation within and across these components in 2022.” 

One thing Upwave noted within the framework–that speaks to Bob’s point about potential consolidation–is a distinction being made between Brand Measurement and Incrementality Measurement, but they’re not mutually exclusive. Some Brand Measurement is incremental, and some is just longitudinal. On the other hand, some Incrementality Measurement is about brand outcomes: location outcomes, sales outcomes etc. If we, as a marketplace, are to look at the two as separate and distinct functions, we need clear and evident language we can all agree on.

Other leaders in the space, like Philip Inghelbrecht, CEO of Tatari, agree that there’s some overlap across categories, as well as buckets where we can expect to see growth. “It’s critical that advertisers understand how to measure their ad buys, especially in this era where every dollar spent is scrutinized and expected to perform. Fortunately, there are many companies that are fulfilling advertisers’ needs, and can fit into multiple categories across this map. Next year, I expect we’ll see the Sales Impact category grow even larger, as more companies focus on outcomes over media delivery. This is what advertisers truly care about.” 

Jim Tarr, VP of Marketing, Product and Growth at Samba TV also predicts growth in specific buckets. “Where we think there is room for growth is in Streaming / Digital Audience Measurement and, more importantly, in Currency Contenders. As the industry moves toward currencies focused on business-based outcomes, this category will include additional currency partners and weed out some incumbents for the new, forward-thinking players.”

Our big prediction at Upwave for the future of the ecosystem is a move toward outcome guarantees – but not just bottom-of-funnel sales outcomes. We expect many platforms will experiment with brand and business outcome guarantees in 2022, filling that as-of-now empty bucket. Kevin Krim, President & CEO of EDO agrees with that sentiment, and more.

“I’m grateful that NBCU is taking a leadership position in categorizing the future of TV measurement. It’s very helpful to drive a common vocabulary for the industry. One thing I would broaden is the definition of currency. 2022 and beyond will be about multiple, flexible, and predictively stable currencies. Reach is important, but what really matters is whether you move people to action. Take “Business Outcome Guarantee” — measuring the right outcomes that balance buyer and seller needs and reflect the levers of brand, audience, media and creative is a critical choice. Marketers will pay more for outcomes versus several-steps-removed estimates of audience delivery.” 

Jessica and Bob’s earlier takes, that this framework was a much-needed order from chaos, is certain. In an effort to help further the initiative, we’ve created a clickable list of the companies included in the framework.  As an industry, we can all improve by understanding each other’s mission, capabilities, and place in the ecosystem.



Provides historical measures, or forecasts of:
1. The total number of times consumers with specific characteristics, had/will have an opportunity to see an ad campaign (Impressions)
2. The net number of times those consumers saw the ad campaign or program, usually as a percent of the relevant population (Reach)
3. The frequency distribution of exposures for those consumers, typically expressed as an average (Average Frequency)
4. Typical audience characteristics include age/gender, geographic location, more advanced demos (i.e., income, race and ethnicity) and advanced audiences based on product purchase or related behaviors.

Currency Contenders


Media Planning & Optimization

Persons Based TV Panel



Audience Verification are enrichment metrics that quantify the quality (and value) of impressions
1. An assessment to ensure the ad transaction is brand safe, fraud free, and in view Metrics Tracked: Viewability Scores
2. A measure of attention, engagement, and emotion. Metrics Tracked: Completion Rate, Audible Rate, Attention Index and Emotional Resonance Scores

TV Monitoring & TV Ad Catalog & Video Ad Server



Incremental Brand metrics lift provides an estimate of the increase in perceptual brand KPIs generated by the brand’s advertising, beyond what would have occurred in the absence of the advertising.



Incremental Consumer Behavior Lift provides and estimate of the increase in-market behavioral KPIs generated by the brand’s advertising, beyond what would have occurred in the absence of advertising.

Website Conversion Online/Offline Sales

Foot Traffic





Finance (Credit/Debit)

Healthcare / Pharma

Insurance/QSR/Food Services/Wireless



Currency guarantee framework based on business outcome for behavioral mid-to-lower funnel KPIs. An enhancement to audience-based guarantees. Guarantees could be actual ROI or ROAS measurement or lift in ROI/ROAS.

  • No companies listed in v1.0 Nov 2021 landscape



Individual/HH level measurement approach to estimate the contribution to conversion of each TV impression in the consumer journey.

Marketing Mix Modeling