Nielsen Adds iPad Data, Lowers Growth Forecast

by , Jun 15, 2012, 5:43 PM
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BrianWest

Nielsen CFO Brian West just reported the company has a measurement system to capture iPad and other tablet usage that is being tested by large media companies. The move is a natural extension of Nielsen’s efforts in its extended screen work, where it would add tablet data into a system with TV and PC measurement.

“This is one where technically we can do it,” West said at an investor event.

Yet there are still significant steps that must be taken before the tablet measurement functionality becomes widely deployed in the market, partly because the marketplace often breeds disagreement.

“Nothing moves fast enough in the space,” West said, referring to client adoption and revenue potential for Nielsen. “You’ve always got to facilitate constituents that have different viewpoints, but you’ve got to be the referee sometime -- and that’s the role we play, and we’re perfectly happy to do that.”

West spoke during a week when Nielsen lowered its revenue growth projections for 2012 slightly from 5%-7% to 5%-6%. A hurdle is a “very difficult” Western European economy that is causing some clients to pull back on discretionary projects in the company’s business that tracks sales, West said.

Outside Europe, some multinational corporations are exercising restraint, he said, saying they are “being very deliberate in how they invest around the world -- they’re investing but they’re being more deliberate.”

West, however, expressed bullishness on Nielsen’s initiatives to move deeper into the single-source arena, where one aspect would have it marry its TV viewing data with retail sales, looking to gain cause-and-effect insight.

It’s a small part of Nielsen’s business, he said, but touted the company’s “unique assets” as a help in building a system that many marketers seek.

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