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Nielsen Highlights Upcoming Initiatives for 2015-2016 at Annual Analyst Day

4 minute read | December 2015

“Throughout our 92-year history, a key reason why our company has been successful is that we’ve been able to simultaneously embrace change and still deliver with consistency. There’s never been a better time to do what we do, and Nielsen has never been better positioned to do it,” said Mitch Barns, CEO, Nielsen in his welcome address at the 2015 Analyst Day on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.

This was the company’s third annual Analyst Day, and CEO Mitch Barns kicked off the event by addressing shifts and changes across both industries. He outlined key company initiatives, provided updates on Nielsen’s product pipeline and detailed 2015 successes and 2016 plans to a room of more than 130 investors and analysts, with more than 650 viewers having downloaded the webcast to date.

The event also featured presentations from senior executives from various areas of the business, as well as product and service demonstrations of a number of innovative technologies and solutions across Watch and Buy. Chief Financial Officer Jamere Jackson, Chief Technology Officer James Powell, Global President Steve Hasker, Executive Vice President, Global Product Leadership, Megan Clarken, eXelate Chief Executive Officer Mark Zagorski, Retail Vertical President Pat Dodd, Investor Relations Senior Vice President Kate Vanek, and other senior leaders joined Mitch Barns at the annual event to share their commentary on Nielsen’s outlook for the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.


Mitch Barns shared his vision for Nielsen of the Future—one where technology and innovation drive growth, productivity and incremental shareholder value. Barns discussed the growing role technology is playing in Nielsen’s overall business, including new enhancements to the company’s analytics offerings.

For both the Watch and Buy businesses, Nielsen will develop a platform-based system that combines its analytics products into one system, which will then be connected directly to clients’ systems. These new systems will provide more precise, high-impact analytics faster than ever before. Additionally, Barns highlighted the development of an enterprise marketing platform that will help clients move from targeting segments of consumers to addressing individual consumers, moving from many to one.


Megan Clarken, executive vice president, global watch product leadership, underscored the success of Nielsen’s Total Audience initiative. Announced last year, the comprehensive measurement solution is completely built, and has more than 30 networks already enabled for video-on-demand/connected device measurement and more than 20 networks and publishers enabled or in process of being enabled for digital, indicating a momentum towards industry-wide adoption. “Total Audience brings true apples-to-apples comparability to metrics,” said Clarken. “We need to insure that there is an independent Nielsen market-wide number across all players that allow someone to have confidence on both the sell side and the buy side to see the true way that TV and digital are being translated.”

Pat Dodd, president, global retailer vertical, touted Nielsen’s global buy business success, with a footprint in a 106 countries around the world, offering retailer and consumer product clients unparalleled data measurement and analytics. Despite increasing retail fragmentation, global retail is still a major growth opportunity for Nielsen, as manufacturers and retailers look for analytics precision around pricing, assortment, stocks and digital to navigate the new retail landscape. “As Nielsen puts a little bit more resource and focus, and we just pivot our solutions towards retailers, we are growing our business this year with retailers at a double-digit pace,” commented Dodd. “Right now, no one has this breadth of marketing effectiveness tools in the marketplace.”

Andrew Somosi, executive vice president, global product leadership buy, further elaborated on the growth opportunity for Nielsen’s global retailer and manufacturer clients. He emphasized the importance of a connected, continuous and globally consistent system that amalgamated and leveraged Nielsen, client and third-party data to help clients measure and improve performance across markets. “The what, why and what next begins and ends with measurement,” said Somosi. “At a time when our clients are grappling with new changes, new challenges, changing consumer behavior, new competitors, even new business models, we have a unique opportunity as Nielsen and only as Nielsen to align organizational decision-making across our clients using one Nielsen system.”


Chief Financial Officer Jamere Jackson announced an additional share repurchase authorization of $500 million. Since 2013, the company has returned over $2 billion to its shareholders. Nielsen has had 38 consecutive quarters of growth due to its powerful syndicated model, long-term contracts and investments. “Investment is key to our success. We’ve been investing in expanding product capabilities, adding coverage in emerging markets, and we’ve brought real innovation to media measurement,” said Jackson. “As a result, our revenue has been incredibly consistent throughout the cycles—2016 will be even better.”


As the world’s leading provider of consumer measurement, Nielsen’s global presence is a key strategic element of its success. Operating in 106 countries, the company covers more than 90% of the global population. Nielsen measures media in 45 countries around the world, covering nearly 80% of global ad spend. Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings are now in 17 countries, accounting for about 85% of global digital ad spend. Growth in emerging markets was also strong for the company, representing 32% of the Buy business and supported by the strong long-term tailwinds of population growth, a growing middle class and ongoing urbanization.

For more information about Nielsen’s Analyst Day 2015, access presentations, as well as a replay and transcript of the day.