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Nielsen Buys Platform For Set-Top Box Reporting Data

In a move aimed at strengthening its ability to process, integrate, analyze and report audience measurement data from set-top boxes, The Nielsen Co. has acquired Audience Analytics and itsAudience Watch software.

Nielsen officials said the Audience Watch software will become the primary delivery mechanism for the company’s Nielsen DigitalPlus product line, providing analytics on tuning and interactive television usage, based on set-top box data, as well as measurement of video-on-demand transactions.

Terms of the deal, announced today during Nielsen’s Annual Client Meeting on Audience Measurement in Las Vegas, were not disclosed.

Nielsen said that Mark Cannon, Audience Analytics founder Mark Cannon will join the company as senior vice president, analytics technology, leading an advanced applications team to sustain and expand this technology across a growing number of complex data sets.

Audience Analytics already produces programming and reach and frequency analyses based on Nielsen Media Research’s national respondent level sample-based data, as well as commercial and proprietary information from other industry sources. According to Nielsen, its advanced database engine evaluates audience ratings and shares, and its state-of-the-art software can process large census-based data sets, often in seconds. 

The system is expected to complement Nielsen’s existing data delivery systems, such as NPOWER, giving Nielsen clients enhanced flexibility and more granular data analysis. The acquisition will enable Nielsen to offer new insights to advertisers, agencies, broadcast and cable networks, local television stations, cable and satellite operators, ISPs, wireless providers and telcos.

“The acquisition of Audience Analytics’ software and tools provides Nielsen with a powerful platform for new applications we can take to market immediately,” said Jim O’Hara, president of media product leadership for Nielsen, in a statement. “It not only gives us the ability to process and deliver set-top box data sets, but also enables us to report accurately that data down to very granular levels – whether second-by-second, household-by-household or even set-top box-by-set-top box.”