Nielsen Embraces the Internet Era, Will Include Mobile Viewing into TV Ratings

Prior to the Internet, we all watched our favorite TV shows and movies on these big, bulky television sets with curved glass and just a handful of channels to flip through, even on cable. Television viewing has evolved over time, and now that so many people live connected lifestyles, it would be silly to ignore mobile viewing habits when analyzing TV ratings.

Nielsen realizes this and so for the past several months, the information and measurement company has been sharing with client and industry leaders how to incorporate audiences viewing TV content on digital devices into traditional TV measurement for the 2014-15 TV season. Taking it a big step further, Nielsen said it plans to make a Software Development Kit (SDK) available in November that will enable measurement of mobile viewing.


"We’ve been working hard to deliver this new SDK and are excited to be able to deliver a single client solution that supports both the linear (TV style) and dynamic (Internet style) ad models," said Megan Clarken, EVP, Global Product Leader, Nielsen. "This unified encoding approach for video enables measurement to follow content across screens and ad models."

The technology behind Nielsen's SDK is to analyze the audio watermakrs, metadata, or tags associated with TV shows to determine where to credit the viewing. Nielsen will also use big data and a census-style measure approach to pull stats from places like Facebook in order to get the big picture of where, how, and what people are viewing.

It's nice to see Nielsen on the ball with this one. According to various research firms, over half the adult population in the U.S. own smartphones.