Nielsen Digital Ratings Give TV Modest Lift

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Nielsen's Extended Screen ratings -- which will include TV viewing on digital platforms -- won't make a big impact initially when the first of its numbers are released in a few weeks.

Digital video viewing data of TV episodes will only mean a 1% to 2% lift over ratings of traditional TV shows, estimates Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer of Turner Broadcasting. Nielsen will release its Extended Screen ratings in early May, with data starting from the week of April 25.

Speaking on a TV research panel at MediaPost's Outfront event, Wakshlag added: "From everyone here, it doesn't seem like it has affected the market." In addition, many on the panel believe Nielsen has been slow -- or not all-encompassing -- when it comes to TV viewing on other digital screens.

"This is totally a 1.0 solution," says Colleen Fahey Rush, chief research officer of MTV Networks.

"There is a lack of transparency," says Judy Vogel, director of insights and analysis for MediaStorm. "We don't have demographics around it either," she says, although she notes her agency can overlay data sets to estimate specific audiences.

"We think it might help the local TV markets," says Brian Hughes, vice president and director of audience analysis for MagnaGlobal, especially in those markets that only have diaries.

Also, Hughes says the new Nielsen data is limiting -- that Nielsen will only ascribe digital video viewing for TV sellers if they run the exact same number of commercials of shows online as they do traditionally.

Few do; the CW network is a major exception. But TV Everywhere efforts, pushed by TV content owners and cable system operators, will help Nielsen promote its extended-screen TV service, according to analysts, since digital commercial loads will match those on traditional TV networks.

Overall, the timing of the launch of the new data still isn't good. "Nielsen is a year or two late," says Wakshlag.

1 comment about "Nielsen Digital Ratings Give TV Modest Lift".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, April 14, 2011 at 6:40 p.m.

    Could someone clarify this sentence for me?

    "Nielsen will only ascribe digital video viewing for TV sellers if they run the exact same number of commercials of shows online as they do traditionally."

    Does "commercials of shows" mean promos of shows, or regular commercials?

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