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Amy Schein

Nielsen’s Rating System Gets an Upgrade

by Amy Schein | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

January 11, 2016 | No Comments »

Nielsen-MakeItAllCount_1100pxWhen it comes to measuring the size of media audiences for advertisers, Nielsen is the industry standard. However, in the digital era the company has been criticized for its inability to fully and accurately measure the total number of viewers for a program beyond live TV.

How can companies get a better picture of who’s viewing their ads in a world where digital recorders, numerous browser windows, and multiple media platforms fight for audience attention? Nielsen hopes to answer this question with its newest ratings system: the total audience measurement tool.

Total audience measurement gives advertisers an idea of how a TV show performed over a specific date range, taking into account its performance on live TV, video on demand platforms, and other digital platforms like a network’s website and apps and streaming services such as Hulu.

Nielsen designed the product to vastly improve upon its previous ratings system, which did not take into account any viewing of a program beyond seven days, most mobile viewing, and any content with different ad loads than its original broadcast.

The company is working with about 40,000 Nielsen households or 100,000 people in total, as well as media owners and program distributors (cable and satellite providers), to install its software development kit (SDK) on their various apps and players.

The product is set to officially roll out in the first quarter of 2016, though the company began to share data with its clients at the end of 2015. With $569.65 billion on the line — that’s the total amount spent on advertising in the world in 2015, according to eMarketer — any and all companies that rely on advertising are no doubt eager to take a peak.

Amy Schein is an Industry Specialist at First Research, where she covers various aspects of the media industry. She earned her BS and MA in media studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Follow Amy on Twitter.

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Image courtesy of Nielsen.

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