AT&T Says Yes To Nielsen STB Ratings


By Adam R Jacobson

MIAMI BEACH, FLA — As NAPTE 2017 attendees slowly rose from what was likely a few hours sleep, given all of the parties at host hotels Fontainebleau and Eden Roc that concluded Day 1 of this conference and market for syndicators and distributors, Nielsen at sunrise provided the TV industry with some news of encouragement.

And, guess what? It involves a set-top box.

No, outgoing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wasn’t involved.

Nielsen at sunrise announced that it has reached a multi-year agreement with AT&T to include anonymized set-top box data from connected homes subscribed to AT&T’s DirecTV and U-Verse services into its local and national TV currency ratings services.

DirecTVThe accord gives a boost to the Nielsen Total Audience strategy, as the data from the AT&T set-top boxes — integrated with Nielsen’s gold standard panels, will offer high-quality measurement that leads to a greater understanding of audiences and their viewing trends.

Nielsen says it will this year combine panel data with the anonymous TV viewing data from connected homes subscribed to DirecTV and U-Verse. Nielsen will then use the data for reporting on an aggregated basis.

AT&T’s data, it says, will give additional value to Nielsen’s local and national TV measurement services, “providing enriched, electronic measurement in all 210 local TV markets.”

Data from DirecTV and U-Verse set-top boxes will also be incorporated with data from other data providers to complement other platforms, including Nielsen Scarborough, NLTV and Nielsen N-Score.

Megan Clarken, president of Nielsen Product Leadership, said, “Nielsen is leveraging big data and its panel data to deliver comprehensive, reliable and in-depth measurement of how people consume content in today’s changing media landscape. We continue to innovate and leverage all types of data in order to enhance our local and eventually national audience measurement solutions. The inclusion of data from various providers supplements Nielsen’s panel data by providing increased granularity and more robust insights broadening our total audience view.”

Nielsen added that by working with providers such as AT&T to provide integrated big data, it continues “to enhance and augment its measurement capabilities, further strengthening the currency measurement used by the industry to transact billions of advertising dollars.”