To capture the changing video viewing habits and options available to consumers, Nielsen announced today it will add digital video consumption to its traditional TV ratings, starting with the 2014-15 television season.
After months of testing, Nielsen will release the software developer kit (SDK) in mid-November. The SDK will allow Nielsen to measure both traditional TV viewing and viewing on digital platforms that fall outside the current TV ratings system including, multi-room DVRs, internet connected televisions, mobile devices, browsers and app content players. In addition to working with traditional broadcasters, the SDK allows Nielsen to partner with digital content providers such as YouTube and Netflix.
“We’ve been working hard to deliver this new SDK and are excited to be able to deliver a single client solution that supports both the linear (TV style) and dynamic (Internet style) ad models,” said Megan Clarken, EVP, Global Product Leader, Nielsen. “This unified encoding approach for video enables measurement to follow content across screens and ad models.”
If a broadcaster makes a TV show available for viewing on a digital device and it meets the ad load and timeline requirements for TV ratings, then that viewing will credit to the traditional Nielsen TV ratings.
Content not otherwise eligible for traditional TV ratings, such as dynamic ad insertion and original web content, will be counted in Nielsen Digital Ratings: Digital Program Ratings and Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings for the ad rating.
To measure mobile viewing in a way that gives television ad buyers the data they rely on, Nielsen says it will “use big data and census-style measurement”. The company says demographic information will be matched through providers, such as Facebook. Nielsen already has a ratings measurement partnership with Twitter. Further details of Facebook’s relationship with Nielsen and which other providers are included in providing demographic information to Nielsen is unclear at this time.
With the new SDK, Nielsen will credit the viewing by device by analyzing audio watermarks, metadata or tags associated with the content and related ads. Below is Nielsen’s depiction of how its new TV ratings system works: