Nielsen To Measure Netflix, Amazon TV Streams

Nielsen will begin measuring premium streaming video TV programming from Netflix and Amazon starting next month, according to a report.

Nielsen will analyze audio from digital over-the-top platforms -- without the cooperation of streaming services. The story was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.

Nielsen says the programming that is measured will come from existing Nielsen clients, and the data will be available to current Nielsen clients.

Subscription video-on-demand services have declined to publicly disclose their viewership, much to the chagrin of TV programming analysts and other executives. Top online original series include Netflix’s "House Of Cards" and "Orange Is The New Black" and Amazon’s "Alpha House."

“Our clients will be able to look at their programs and understand: Is putting content on Netflix impacting the viewership on linear and traditional VOD?” said Brian Fuhrer, senior vice president of national and cross-platform product leader, to The Wall Street Journal.



Megan Clarken, executive vice president of global watch product leadership for Nielsen, recently called on the industry to adopt new viewership standards in a commentary column for Media Daily News.

She says the decline in traditional TV ratings can be attributed to four factors -- three are declines coming from alternative media/programming usage and “one is due to a Nielsen methodology change.”

One key shift, she says, is the result of audiences going to time-shifted digital content, including both SVOD (subscription video on demand), such as Netflix, and digital properties distributing traditional television programming, such as Hulu, which are not included in the current TV ratings.

3 comments about "Nielsen To Measure Netflix, Amazon TV Streams".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, November 19, 2014 at 6:47 p.m.

    It's happened again. A reported Nielsen announcement raises more questions than it answers. According to MediaDailyNews:
    "Nielsen will analyze audio from digital over-the-top platforms -- without the cooperation of streaming services." In this case, it would seem that there are two (2) obvious questions: First, does Nielsen have the legal right to measure and to report the ersatz "audiences" to video programming sources like networks or streaming program services, if the services do not want to cooperate with the measurement? It sounds as if paying clients are underwriting the measurement of non-paying "services." This would seem especially troublesome, as the streaming services are un-encoded and possibly commercial-free, therefore bypassing core components of the Nielsen measurement hardware, the NAVE encoder and decoder. Nielsen Clients pay handsomely for what they want -- and appear to pay for what they don't want or need. The second question concerns the use of audio signatures to track tuning -- and not necessarily viewing. The tuning and viewing attributed to such measurement would not seem to be technically comparable, combinable or correct (especially if incomplete in some fundamental manner. For example, when the audio is muted the measurement is the video continues to flow). In short, "it's an ill bird that fouls its own nest." Is Nielsen fouling the measurement nest? "Enquiring minds want to know." We appear to be entering an era of "anything goes" measurement at Nielsen. Perhaps the WSJ report has more information than MediaPost. But once again, the "news" seems to break before Nielsen's paying customers receive adequate prior knowledge in the form of Nielsen Client Notice, Nielsen Webinar or Nielsen Client Briefing. One looks forward to a clear and comprehensive statement of Nielsen's operating plans as opposed to its marketing dreams and technical braggadocio. Onwards and upwards.

  2. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, November 20, 2014 at 12:28 p.m.

    Thought it might be interesting to see what Nielsen's Newswire was reporting today, Nov. 20, 2014, after their recent "momentous" announcement in the WSJ that was referenced by Wayne Friedman in MediaDailyNews on Wednesday, Nov. 19.
    So, here is the link to Nielsen News for Thursday, November 20: .................................
    WHERE DO FANS TURN WHEN ARTISTS SWIM AGAINST THE STREAM?"...............................................................................................
    How about the first story under the "Nielsen Newswire" heading:
    In the Know: Identifying Consumer Segments Can Help Nonprofits Reach Donors. ..................................................................
    But what about Nielsen's Newswire E-mail? The first story is:
    Nov. 20, 2014
    Around the Globe, Private Label's Appeal Goes Beyond Price"
    In sum, nowhere on the first page of Nielsen's NEWSWIRES (i.e., e-mail and/or online) is their a mention of Streaming Video or TV Programming Audience Measurement, Commercial Exposure or Digital Research Innovations to benefit networks, stations, streaming services, advertisers or agencies. Neat trick!
    And yet, this is what Nielsen is paid to deliver, isn't it?
    I must confess that I did not have the time to look further than today's e-mail and landing page (i.e., lead capture page) of Nielsen Newswire (or "Insights'), because if it is not important to Nielsen, how important should it be to Nielsen's Clients?
    Just askin'. Onwards and upwards!

  3. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, November 20, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.

    Why does MediaPost Publications give Nielsen get two cracks at the same daily headline two days in a row? It seems like nothing has changed since yesterday morning (Wednesday) at 10:46 AM, save for Nielsen's protracted silence and continued lack of clarification. If matters aren't getting clearer, they are getting murkier. N'est ce pas?
    PS I raised the same issue last Friday, Nov. 14, regarding the Nielsen "New Standards" Commentary that ran as "fresh" commentary two days in a row. MediaPost Publication has yet to resolve what appears to be a machine-time glitch. It's only the digital age. We'll just have to wait -- like we wait for Nielsen to get a handle on the clock -- and the screens. (To understand clock time better check out this PBS Series: Could the story subject be rubbing off on the observer? Just askin'.
    Onwards &upwards!

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