Nielsen, Digimarc Unveil Digital Video Ventures

Days after the television industry has converted from analog to digital broadcasting, Nielsen Co. unveiled plans to step up how "follows the video" across all of the platform that people watch it on, including "enhanced" TV, online and mobile. In an expansion of a relationship it entered into with copyright protection company Digimarc in 2007, Nielsen Monday announced plans for two new, 50/50 joint ventures to monitor the consumption of video content wherever it shows up.

Details of the new services were not disclosed, but the companies emphasized that at least part of the plan is to facilitate video "commerce" and "transactions."

"By combining Nielsen's first-class market intelligence - particularly our analysis of video consumption across TV, Internet and mobile - with Digimarc's rich patent portfolio, we are uniquely positioned to drive exciting new ways to engage consumers through digital entertainment and transactions," stated Itzhak Fisher, head of Nielsen's global product leadership organization.

The move comes as big studios and television content producers increasingly are looking at online, and mobile as new sources of revenue, but also as potential areas of copyright infringement.

Digimarc owns patents that enable content creators to digitally "watermark" programming so that its usage can be detected regardless of the platform it appears on.

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