This panel includes a subset of 21,000 people who are part of Nielsen’s streaming meter panel—a number Nielsen previously hasn’t disclosed. The firm has regularly published estimates of how many people watch various streaming programs based on those meters, but some in the industry believed it was based on a smaller, perhaps three- or four-figure installed base.
Nielsen’s statement said its “proprietary people-based panels are a key differentiator for the company.” Folding in local TV measurement and Nielsen Digital, which includes a non-metered participant panel with more than 250,000 individuals who provide demographic data that can help correct third-party data sets, Nielsen now has more than 500,000 people who have agreed to be panelists.
The industry will need a lot of people to match Nielsen’s numbers. One measurement industry executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity, conceded that whatever rival panel the industry develops is unlikely to be as good as Nielsen’s, given its years of experience. But an equally big question is how well Nielsen will do at ingesting and analyzing data from millions of set-top boxes and smart TVs, where rivals have a big head start.