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Nielsen launches Streaming Signals for more efficient advertising on connected TV

3 minute read | January 2022

Now both media buyers and sellers can optimize CTV reach in first-of-its-kind solution that uses streaming data from participating CTV operators and Nielsen machine learning to eliminate advertising waste by unbundling a household

New York, Jan. 4, 2022 – In the next step toward better understanding who is watching what programming and better presenting advertising at the person-level, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) announced the launch of Streaming Signals, a new solution for connected TV (CTV) operators and advertisers to better understand who is watching a show within the household. A first-of-its-kind solution that unbundles household viewing, Streaming Signals enables both media buyers and media sellers to optimize and measure CTV reach for more efficient advertising, maximizing ad revenue and delivery to streaming audiences. 

Currently, most advertising on CTV happens at the household level. However, households are often made up of diverse audiences with different interests. Streaming Signals is well suited for Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) clients since these two solutions together enable clients to both optimize and measure CTV reach for more efficient advertising. Using custom machine learning models to determine who is in the household based on historical viewership data, Streaming Signals delivers a signal within 50 milliseconds to CTV operators of who is currently streaming program content instantly. This results in advertisers and agencies making better, faster choices to reach their target audiences, eliminating delivery of irrelevant advertising to viewers. In turn, media owners can attract more media dollars with ad inventory that is more accurately packaged, by delivering real-time advertising to the right audience.

This solution is made possible by using machine learning algorithms, viewing from Nielsen’s gold-standard panel data, and the CTV provider viewership data, assigning person-level demographics instantly. Once integrated, the CTV provider will notify the Nielsen system and will receive a signal containing information regarding who is most likely watching within the household. The CTV provider can then play a more ideal advertisement rather than the previous ad that was reserved. For example, if Sons of Anarchy is being watched within a household, the 35-year-old male likely watching the show will be shown an auto ad instead of a yogurt ad, giving CTV operators the ability to sharpen ad delivery from their inventory.

“Nielsen Streaming Signals brings a layer of unmatched real-time, person-level demographic precision to audience optimization,” said Ameneh Atai, General Manager Digital and Advanced TV, Nielsen. “We know that the media industry is going through accelerated change, switching to a streaming-first approach, and with an audience watching programming whenever, wherever, and on a number of devices. Nielsen is the only one that is unbundling the household because we are the only ones that sit at the intersection of the streaming behavior and audience data.”

Traditionally, clients have looked at on-target percentage when evaluating advertising on CTV. Streaming Signals empowers clients to positively impact that percentage by knowing before the ad is served who is behind the CTV screen. 

Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) enables clients to understand who was reached by age and gender during the CTV advertising campaign. In turn, advertisers would rely on using either behavioral targeting (tracking digital behaviors aggregated at the household level) or contextual targeting (displaying an ad based on genre of content) to try and deliver the right ad to the right person. Streaming Signals brings the best of these solutions together to deliver a higher threshold of ad accuracy and relevance.

Learn more about Nielsen Streaming Signals.

About Nielsen

Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience measurement, data and analytics. Through our understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, we empower our clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future.

An S&P 500 company, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) operates around the world in more than 55 countries. Learn more at or and connect with us on social media.


Matt Hurst