Nielsen to expand TV to include broadband, iPads, game consoles


NielsenAfter a meeting in New York 2/19, Pat McDonough, SVP Insights and Analysis, Nielsen, tells RBR-TVBR the company is expanding its definition of television viewing and will introduce a plan to capture all video viewing including broadband and Xbox and iPads.

The decision came out of a meeting of the What Nielsen Measures Committee, a group that has been meeting for nearly a year. The committee is composed of reps from major TV networks, local TV stations, cable TV networks, agencies and advertisers.

McDonough tells RBR-TVBR: “Nielsen’s objective is to measure video content however consumers access it. In the last decade, the places and ways consumers can view content have grown significantly. Over the last 12 months, Nielsen has explored expanding the current definition of a TV household to more accurately reflect media consumption and technology advancements. Nielsen also conducted research into homes that did not fit the current definition. We found that many of these homes still had TVs but were using a broadband source to view content.

On February 21, 2013, Nielsen communicated the next steps to broaden the definition of a TV household with clients. The new definition would, therefore, be as follows: “at least one operable TV/Monitor with the ability to deliver video via traditional means of antennae, cable STB or Satellite receiver and/or with a broadband connection.

On the path to capturing all viewing in all homes, this foundational change addresses the lion’s share of viewing, in effect including any home with a TV that can receive video via an external source. In collaboration with clients, we will continue to expand the reach of television audience measurement.”

Andy Donchin, Carat director of media investments, tells RBR-TVBR it’s a good move: “We applaud Nielsen’s initiative in trying to keep up with changing viewing behavior.  Cross platform video measurement from one source is what advertisers, agencies and suppliers are all trying to obtain and this is a definitive step in the right direction.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Nielsen wants to be able to provide advertisers, agencies and media sellers the most comprehensive measurement of consumers’ media consumption throughout the day. The networks have said for years now that total viewing of their shows isn’t being captured by traditional ratings measurements. This is going to make them very happy and will add to advertising support across these additional viewing platforms.