Nielsen Watch: Research Giant Redefines Businesses, Reports Healthy Gains

Like the industries it measures - media and marketing - Nielsen Co. is evolving and morphing into something else, according to ways in which it describes itself to investors and federal regulators. In financial filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission, Nielsen now describes its business segments as "Watch," "Buy" and "Expositions." In past filings, Nielsen described its segments as "Consumer Services," "Media" and "Business Media." The changes no doubt reflect some recent divestitures, including the sale of its business publications earlier this year, but also a subtle repositioning of how the world's largest consumer researcher views the consumer marketplace.

Nielsen's describes its Watch segment as "what consumers watch," and includes such services at TV ratings, Internet and mobile audience measurement, as well as various analytic products related to them. Interestingly, the verb watch doesn't necessarily cover some of the forms of consumer media behavior it now measures, including radio audience measurement, and digital media activities that do not involve watching things.



Buy is described as "what consumers buy," and includes market research and analytics services.

Expositions includes various trade shows, events and conferences.

The reclassifications make sense, especially given Nielsen's divestiture of its business publications, including the sale of trade magazines such as Adweek, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter to e5 Global Media at the end of 2009. In its most recent filing with the SEC, Nielsen did not disclose the sales price of the publications, but it said it recorded a net loss of $3 million associated with the divestiture.

Nielsen has scheduled a conference call to brief investors and securities analysts this morning on its second quarter and first half 2010 results, and in an earnings released issued earlier this morning reported second quarter revenues of $1.270 billion (an increase of 7% from a year earlier), and first half revenues of $2.466 billion (an increase of 8% from a year earlier).

Nielsen, which is controlled by a group of private equity firms and is preparing for an initial public offering, said its operating income grew 10% during the first half to $314 million.

1 comment about "Nielsen Watch: Research Giant Redefines Businesses, Reports Healthy Gains ".
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  1. Andrew Crowley from ggiyt, July 30, 2010 at 9:12 a.m.

    all of this reveneu is based on 12k set top boxes, only in America would companies pay for a flawed system

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