DMM: Manish Bhatia

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Whether people end up watching TV on their PCs or doing computing on their TVs, Manish Bhatia is working on ways to track them.

As VP-interactive services for Nielsen Media Research, Mr. Bhatia is responsible for developing systems to measure user activity across a range of convergence devices, from Windows 98 to cable set-top boxes.

Vital stats:
Title: VP-interactive services, Nielsen Media Research, New York.
Age/bio:33, born in Chandigarh, India; MBA in computer information systems, Baruch College, CUNY; and Masters in Economics, Punjab University, Chandigarh.
Media analyst, cable division, Nielsen Media Research, 1989-92; Nielsen management development program, 1992-93; manager of planning and development, 1993-1995; director of interactive services, 1995-1997; current post, 1998-.

He started his career handling client services for Nielsen's cable division, working with Turner Broadcasting System, HBO, MTV and other cable networks to measure audience usage.

"The Internet is a new medium that promises to target content and ad messages to a more finely defined audience, so in that respect it is similar to cable," he added.

But the similarities stop there, he said. Now, because the Internet is so accountable, advertisers have much higher expectations when it comes to measuring audiences.

Mr. Bhatia is now in charge of a new Web tracking service called NielsenWeb that will be rolled out this summer, bringing even more competition to the crowded Internet measurement field. The industry has been talking about a "Nielsen of the Web" ever since people started counting audiences, so expectations are high.

"I think there's an obligation on our part to give the marketplace a good solution," said Mr. Bhatia. "If you attempt to say, `Here's a research product to help you make your business decisions,' it better be right."

Betcha didn't know: One of Mr. Bhatia's dreams is to learn to fly an airplane.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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