Digesting Nielsen's A2/M2 initiative


Janice Finkel-Greene, Initiative Media EVP/Local Broadcast and EVP/Director Futures and Technology, has issued an analysis of Nielsen’s A2/M2 initiative (Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement), designed to track video wherever is appears. Nielsen’s intention is to measure, aggregate and report video from all of the platforms that users are likely to see video (“the three screens”): television, internet and mobile devices—and possibly outdoor.  This update tracks Nielsen’s progress to date, based on its recently-issued 10-page document and client meeting.

Finkel-Greene tells TVBR it’s amazingly complex and Nielsen is taking on some really daunting tasks, including the local aspect, where local stations have websites and people download video from them, as opposed to the network websites. “They are looking at whose who’s website really generated that, who gets credit for it, what the interaction between that and viewing on other platforms is…So I wrote a very bulleted, to the point overview of what was being measured so that clients could get a handle on it without having to pour through it.”

Her analysis:

Traditional Television

* The Local People Meter, the same device used to measure national TV viewing, is currently in 10 major markets, with plans to expand to 56 markets by 2012. 

* Markets 57 through 125 will be measured by a new “Mailable Meter” which will be used only during sweeps periods.  This Mailable Meter will monitor the set tuning data while demographics data will be captured via viewing logs.

* A plan for markets 126 through 210 is not yet set in place. 

Television via the Computer Screen

There are several options in place for measuring television over the internet.
* VideoCensus uses the NetRatings desktop meter and SiteCensus content-tagging technologies.

* A type of fusion methodology merges the viewing data from the National People Meter Sample to on-line panels. 

* The TV/Internet Convergence Panel is a single sample that provides data for both viewing vehicles
Television via Mobile Devices

In August 2007 Nielsen acquired Telephia, Inc. the leading provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. 

* A “solo meter” attaches to phones and MP3 players to measure viewing on mobile devices

* Nielsen plans to measure iTunes usage in the NetRatings panel sometime in 2008.

Out-of-Home Measurement

* Nielsen has joined with Integrated Media Measurement Inc. (IMMI) to provide electronic measurement of viewing outside of the home.  This is a cell-phone-based service which will measure viewing nationally and in six local markets.  The service launches in April 2008.

* Go Meters for out-of-home measurement will first be rolled out into the Internet/Convergence panel.

* The future plan is for Go Meter participants to be part of the  National People Meter Sample


Measurement of all screens and viewing in all places is the core plan for the A2/M2 initiative.   Only four years away, 2012 should be a defining point for content measurement.