Nielsen and HBO Max need to agree on releasing the data, sources tell TV Watch. There is no time line yet. Still, Nielsen and HBO Max have recently agreed -- in a limited way -- with the release of “Wonder Woman 1984.”
In January, Nielsen says there were 2.25 billion minutes of the movie viewed in its first weekend in December on HBO Max -- a movie that was also concurrently released theatrically.
Publicly released viewing data matters to those that have produced highly viewed TV shows/movies -- content that needs promotion to gain subscribers. At the same time, if streaming content is available on ad-supported platforms, that information would be helpful for potential advertisers to know.
Through its new streaming video ratings service, where roughly 10,000 to 15,000 streaming meters are installed in homes, Nielsen publishes just a handful of streamers platforms: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+.
This isn’t to say streamers don’t have access to this
information. Streaming platform servers have that data
-- in many cases detailed viewing information.
Streamers recognize the value of viewing data by the industry -- and the need for more granular information.
For example, Netflix has determined this. Now, rather than just releasing -- on a semi-regular basis -- data from Netflix “accounts” that viewed a specific piece of content, it says in the future, it will offer “hours viewed.”
This would seem to follow Nielsen -- where the media research firm offers top 10 lists of original, acquired, and movie content in terms of billion of minutes viewed.
In the past, individual TV networks have made specific moves regarding TV viewing data on their own networks they didn’t want to see published.
In the mid-1990s, MTV didn’t believe it was getting a fair shake from Nielsen for its panel estimate concerning its young-skewing viewing numbers. For a time, it stopped subscribing to the service.
More recently, CNBC did the same, dropping Nielsen in 2015, because it believed traders, business executives and others were under-reported in Nielsen estimates, based on home TV set technology.
But all this didn’t stop Nielsen from measuring data. Nor did it mean TV networks' competitors, as well as media agencies buying media for their advertisers, stopped using it.
In a tweet earlier this year, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, said in response to Nielsen’s data showing 26% of TV time now is spent streaming, the business needs to count HBO Max, as well.
When you are looking to promote a still nascent streaming TV industry, everything counts.