Nielsen to Measure Video Audiences on All Platforms

New Strategy Responds to Media Buyers and Sellers' Demands

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NEW YORK ( -- Nielsen Media Research President Susan D. Whiting has a new mission: "Follow the video." Any form of content that encompasses sight, sound and motion should fall within Nielsen Media Research's purview.

Nielsen Media Research President Susan D. Whiting said the company will now follow video audiences to whatever platforms they use for viewing content.

That was the message Ms. Whiting said she's gotten from the advertisers and broadcasters that use her company's measurement service. In a speech given this week at Nielsen's annual National Client Meeting in Orlando, Fla., Ms. Whiting laid out plans for 2006 through 2008 as to how the company that is the source of ratings data for the U.S. will tackle tracking TV viewing online, in living rooms and on the go. Four out of five TV viewers are interacting with other forms of media while they watch TV, she told attendees. Currently, 30% of all media time is spent with more than one media.

"We must continue to improve audience measurement technologies and methods to accurately capture consumer activity across this expanding array of media," Ms. Whiting said.

Seven strategies
She laid out seven strategies to do that, admitting that they encompassed ambitious goals, but that Nielsen has committed to delivering "measurable actionable proposals and goals in 90 days" for these initiatives, she told clients.

The first goal is to integrate measurement of TV and measurement of the Internet to accurately determine how consumers are using one in conjunction with the other.

Her next promise was to measure out-of-home TV viewing in terms of both traditional venues, such as bars, airports and college dorms, and new personal mobile media, including cellphones and iPods.

Electronic measurement
Nielsen also is looking to bring more electronic measurement to local market services by adding electronic measurement to existing set meters and converting larger diary-only markets to electronic measurement as well.

And Ms. Whiting promised to continue to accurately track in-home estimates with a granularity that will allow commercial minute ratings.

The company will focus on developing and introducing additional measurements of TV viewing to address industry needs for measures of engagement to increase accountability and identify the effectiveness of TV advertising.

Under consideration is an overall consumer-measurement platform to allow tracking of new devices, and to connect broad consumer behavior with media exposure.

And lastly, Ms. Whiting said the company is continuing its quest to make Nielsen's data portable into outside data models.

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