Nielsen Huddles With Clients On TV-Internet Measurement

Nielsen on Friday will meet with cable operators, cable programmers, broadcasters, ad agencies and advertisers in New York to provide an update on its efforts to measure Internet-video and TV viewing in a consolidated fashion as well as to get input on how "TV Everywhere" online services may be folded into its ratings.

The firm has invited about 75 senior research executives to participate. Those on the guest list include representatives from Comcast, MTV Networks, NBC Universal, CBS, Disney/ABC, Discovery Communications, Rainbow Media, Turner Broadcasting System, ESPN and Hulu. Agencies also were invited, as were major advertisers including P&G and Sony.

"It's to review where we stand on measuring Internet and television within the same panel - which is something we've been working toward for the last three years with the A2/M2," Nielsen vice president of communications Gary Holmes said. "It's to update them on what we've been doing and where we stand now."

The meeting, hosted by Sara Erichson, president of Nielsen's media client services for North America, will take place at the Harvard Club in New York at 2 p.m. Holmes added that some participants will be dialing in via phone.

Last month, Erichson sent a letter to clients suggesting "TV Everywhere" services from Comcast, Time Warner Cable and others could be counted toward overall TV ratings but noting that Nielsen will move cautiously on incorporating online views into its total ratings.

Nielsen's Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative currently measures Internet activity of 375 households within its national People Meter panel. The company expects to complete the installation of the Internet meter to its approximately 18,000 National People Meter households in 2010 and full implementation in early 2011.

Meanwhile, a consortium of 14 companies last month announced the creation of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, with the aim of funding the development of technologies and methodologies for new forms of audience measurement, which be from Nielsen or other providers.

CIMM's founding members are comprised of seven media companies, CBS, Discovery Communications, NBC Universal, News Corp., Time Warner Inc., Viacom and The Walt Disney Co.; four ad agencies, GroupM, Interpublic Group's Mediabrands, Omnicom Media Group and Starcom MediaVest Group Worldwide; and three large advertisers, AT&T, Procter & Gamble and Unilever.

Holmes said the meeting "is not in reaction to CIMM" and said the impetus for the summit is the emergence of TV Everywhere services such as Comcast's On Demand Online.

"We're expecting to get some direction from clients on their priorities," Holmes said. "It's going to be a discussion. People will have a chance to voice their opinions."

B&C first reported on the Nielsen meeting last week.