It was less than two months ago that Nielsen and IMMI announced that their joint venture to measure out-of-home television viewing would be expanded from a national panel to also offer local data in six markets. Now, facing the current tough economic climate, the entire project is being shelved.
Nielsen and IMMI informed clients Friday that the Out-Of-Home Report would be discontinued with the national report through November 9th, yesterday.
The OOH Report had begun in April 2008, with panelists carrying cell phones provided by IMMI which monitor digital signatures of audio sources. That made it possible for Nielsen/IMMI to track viewing of broadcast/cable/satellite telecasts in bars, offices, fitness clubs and other places away from home. ESPN and Zenith Media had been charter subscribers to the data.
“We are proud of the work we have done with IMMI and believe our out-of-home measurement has provided valuable insight into the relationship between in-home and out-of-home viewing. Despite that, it has become clear that in the current climate, there is limited economic support for this new measurement service. As such, we believe it is prudent to suspend the out-of-home report at this time,” Nielsen said in a statement Friday.
RBR/TVBR observation: There certainly is an advertiser interest in having this data, so we would expect Nielsen to return to tracking out-of-home viewing at some point in the future when it makes economic sense.
You have to admire their honesty.