Nielsen refuses to work with OpenAP’s Joint Industry Committee

A source familiar with the JIC said OpenAP has already received the requested information from measurement companies including Comscore,, VideoAmp, 605 and Samba TV. 

Rao asserts that OpenAP’s requirements are biased or not supported by “statistical evidence,” including the assumption that big data is better than panel data (the latter of which is what Nielsen has historically used to measure audiences) and the attempt to rate the quality of programming by production cost.

Rao also claimed to have “asked multiple times for clear criteria and scoring systems” for how certification will be granted with no response, and accused OpenAP of “conflating certification with accreditation” due to its vague stance on requiring participating measurement companies to be certified by the Media Ratings Council (Nielsen regained accreditation earlier this week).

OpenAP in a statement to Ad Age said the Nielsen letter, which can be read in full below, contained “several inaccuracies and misinterpretations” that will be addressed in the JIC’s official response on Monday. 

“The baseline requirements are aggregated feedback developed in a cross-industry collaborative forum with media agencies, publishers, streaming platforms and trade bodies having equal voice on what is needed to safely and responsibly transition a multibillion-dollar marketplace,” OpenAP said in the statement. “No one measurement company should be able to influence the requirements to benefit their bid for certification over their competition.”

Nielsen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Among other concerns put forward by Rao are a disregard for its proprietary data techniques, antitrust concerns around supposed ambitions from the JIC to reduce competition and absence of media companies such as Disney, Amazon, Netflix and YouTube.

Rao’s letter appears to go beyond the stated JIC standards in a few ways. The standards require participating companies to share methodological data with the JIC, but does not say that data will be shared among the competitors or that a common methodology will be required.

While the standards call for a content quality measure to be incorporated into currency measurement, they do not call for that measure to be based on production costs. The one content quality measure proposed by a JIC member—NBCU’s Content Quality Index—is based primarily on ad recall scores among viewers of ads across a measured platform.

Read the full letter below: