Nielsen Extends Watermarks to Second-Screen Viewing

Nielsen is making the watermarks that help it identify programming available to implement second-screen applications and other engagement strategies.

Nielsen says it is working with Digimarc Corp. Nielsen’s watermarks run throughout programming and commercials to identify pieces of content. Digimarc can create additional watermarks to bookmark specific elements of the content, such as a product placement or the appearance of a character, enabling second-screen experiences that closely track what the viewer is watching.

Networks use second screen experiences to harness multitaskers and increase engagement with both programs and advertising. Using the watermarks won’t disrupt Nielsen’s measurement activities.

Some marketers use applications like Shazam to coordinate second-screen experiences. Kelly Abcarian, senior VP for global watch product leadership at Nielsen, says the watermarks are more efficient at identifying content, making applications run more smoothly.

Watermarks—embedded digital codes—help Nielsen identify the programs viewers are watching as it calculates ratings.

“Our clients have asked us how they can leverage the watermarking footprint they have inside the telecast to do things beyond audience measurement,” Abcarian said.

Digimarc has been using its Digimarc Discovery platform to manage watermarks on packaged goods to improve on traditional bar codes and help retailers track sales and consumers access product information. This venture will bring the platforms together, Abcarian said.

“Digimarc Discover is a comprehensive platform that enables efficient, accurate, and economical mobile engagement with virtually all media, including TV, radio, movies, publications and consumer products,” said Bruce Davis, CEO of Digimarc. “Digimarc aims to enrich everyday living with its patented Digimarc Barcode and associated intuitive computing platform.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.