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Nielsen’s latest bid to stay ahead of the audience measurement competition involves striking an alliance with behavioral targeter eXelate. T…

Nielsen’s latest bid to stay ahead of the audience measurement competition involves striking an alliance with behavioral targeter eXelate. The companies tell the WSJ that eXelate has agreed to provide Nielsen with its data covering 150 million internet users. That information will be combined with Nielsen’s database, which covers 115 million American households. The ultimate goal is to build comprehensive consumer profiles according to age, gender, purchase intent, interests. The profiles will also allow marketers to better target parents and people who are identified as bargain hunters.

Investments, M&A activity and deals among media companies with targeting as a focus have been booming in the last few years. Nielsen, which has dominated traditional audience measurement, has been assiduously trying to extend that dominance to all screens and manner of marketing. In addition, it has made a number of small acquisitions designed to enhance its global presence as well. For example, last fall, Nielsen bought online metrics provider KoreanClick.

All these deals will go to support Nielsen’s biggest play: the roll out of a combined measurement for internet and TV viewing though its People Meters. The

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