Nielsen is launching its long-awaited subscription-based video-on-demand measuring service -- with an initial focus on Netflix, the biggest U.S. SVOD platform.
Eight major TV networks and production studios have signed on to the syndicated service, including A+E Networks, Disney-ABC Television, NBCUniversal, Lionsgate and Warner Bros.
Brian Fuhrer, senior vice president of product leadership for Nielsen, said the service will focus just on Netflix initially, but “we are talking about expanding this to Amazon and Hulu in 2018.”
Nielsen began measuring streaming digital content in 2014. This required approval by its TV studio/producer clients. However, those companies could only view their own program performances.
Fuhrer says SVOD viewership data from the service will be released on a weekly basis, similar to Nielsen’s release of its VOD content ratings.
For the new SVOD measuring service, Nielsen is using an independent technology creating an audio signature it can install on TV programs. “It’s a big breakthrough,” says Fuhrer.
Viewership data of SVOD-delivered programming can now be analyzed versus other national TV programming -- day-by-day or within other time frames. For example, it can measure the viewership of Netflix show “Fuller House” versus other national TV network programs.
Netflix is not presently a Nielsen client, he says.
Nielsen’s new service is being measured through its national TV panel -- 44,000 homes and over 100,000 people. “That is how you can see all that granularity [of data],” he adds. It includes ratings, demographics, impressions, frequency and segmentation.
Nielsen has been offering clients a beta version of this SVOD service since August.
In July, Nielsen said it would be measuring two digital-only, ad-supported services: Hulu and YouTube. Viewing data from these platforms was added to Nielsen’s digital TV ratings product.
Netflix, which has 53 million U.S. subscribers, has long resisted publicly releasing viewership information about its programming.