Nielsen Enables 1st-Party In Big Data, Tells MRC It Plans To Use It As Accredited Currency

Nielsen has informed the Media Rating Council (MRC), as well as its clients, about plans for introducing first-party data into its audience measurement services, including its current accredited ratings service.

In a previously scheduled meeting with the MRC's audit committee late last week, Nielsen said it has begun integrating first-party data in its national Big Data panel service, and plans to use it for live-streamed programs in Nielsen's MRC-accredited panel in September.

Nielsen said it has been responding to questions about the integration of first-party data from the MRC, which is scheduled to vote later this month on whether to continue accrediting Nielsen's national panel-based service after Nielsen begins calibrating it with its Big Data panel.

"Our work with Nielsen on the integration of first-party data sources into its national measurements is ongoing. MRC has not accredited these, and the official status remains 'in process'," the MRC said in a statement provided to MediaPost.



Nielsen described the plan as an "evolving" process, but said it already is offering "measurement informed by first-party data" in its Big Data national service for clients who want to use it.

Nielsen said the first-party data being used to inform its Big Data measurement comes directly from individual publishers -- in this case, streaming services -- and is a form of Big Data, but specific to the source streaming the programs. The data is separate from the Big Data Nielsen sources from ACR and set-top box sources as part of its Big Data service.

"As Nielsen works to modernize media measurement by integrating census-level data sets, including first-party data, we remain committed to adhering to the MRC's measurement standards," Nielsen said in a statement released to the press, adding, "Our aim is to ensure the process with which we introduce new ways of measuring audiences is inclusive of client feedback and held to the highest standards.

"For now, Nielsen’s panel-only national TV service will remain the currency of record. First-party data will be included in Big Data in national measurement figures, which are available to all customers separately."

1 comment about "Nielsen Enables 1st-Party In Big Data, Tells MRC It Plans To Use It As Accredited Currency".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, September 7, 2023 at 5:54 p.m.

    So as I predicted, sanity is returning to national TV ratings. Based on this and similar reports elsewhere, it seems that  Nielsen will contiueto supply its people meter panel ratings for all program genres, including football and specifically, the Amazon NFL games, to all parties, including rival NFL TV time sellers who can then make comparisons between their audience delivery and those of Amazon using the same methodology. Meanwhile, the Nielsen- Amazon "partnership" will provide ratings based on Amazon's own data to those who choose to use them. 

    How the  first party  data ploy develops for the future remains in question. If the data accurately reflects device usage and is independently audited to ensure against fudging or tabulating "errors", the idea that a more precise indicator of how many devices were tuned in  makes sense---but this must be an industry accepted deal with all parties who have such info being  involved and all of the findings independently audited. As for determining who is watching---by sex, age,  income, etc. it's safe to assume that any attempt to include attentiveness metrics willl be vetoed by the sellers so all that advertisers will get in the long run is  a more precise read on how many devices their ad messages "reached"---but not if anybody watched them. As usual a small step forward will be negated by not going all-in and  measuring viewing---not tuning.

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