Nielsen To Measure Streaming Site Viewership Starting Next Month

Due to Hulu's tight connection with CBS, Nielsen has been measuring the audiences that stream shows via that platform. For pretty much every other major SVOD network, the numbers are either a complete mystery, or each individual service reports their own proprietary figures. Essentially, there has been no standardized way to get a feel for viewership across streaming video platforms, and with so much content moving away from pay-TV channels and onto the Internet, it's obviously something that needs to be addressed. And that's exactly what Nielsen is doing.

Starting next month, Nielsen is expected to start applying its famed ratings to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other competing services. It's said that Nielsen can tap into the data by "analyzing a program’s audio components to identify which shows are being streamed," and it could shed interesting light on viewer figures for shows such as House of Cards -- after all, Netflix and Amazon have yet to disclose audience figures to the public. These figures aren't as apt to be useful to advertisers when most of the content is designed to be streamed without ads at all, but that could very well change as more viewers shift from traditional channels to online portals.

That said, what it could provide is more insight on whether or not a certain content owner should license content out to places such as Netflix, and what a fair price would be. Many SVOD sites have scored exclusives on streaming certain shows that debuted on cable, but it's tough to know how useful it has been. This could very well change that.