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Nielsen Pacts With CIMM On Mobile TV Measurement Tests

Nielsen and the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), a group of media companies, advertisers and agencies, are teaming up to test ways to measure television viewing across mobile devices, initially focusing on local TV markets.

CIMM was formed in 2009 in response to the industry’s widespread impression that Nielsen -- the gold standard for TV viewing data -- was not moving fast enough to develop techniques to gauge multiplatform video-consumption measurement.

Now, CIMM is collaborating with Nielsen on the research company’s mobile Television Audience Measurement (mTAM) initiative.

Nielsen and CIMM will develop and test different approaches to TV audience measurement using both passive and active applications on smartphones, tablets and through an online website, mirroring how individuals use technology throughout the day. The duo said the goals of the partnership are to “transform self-reported viewing” by providing apps across multiple devices as well as to improve measurement among younger adults.

Accurately measuring and monetizing TV audiences on new platforms “is of particular concern in the local markets, where relatively small sample sizes can yield inconsistent results,” said Audrey Steele, senior vice president of sales research and marketing at Fox Broadcasting, whose parent News Corp. is a founding CIMM member.

The partnership between CIMM and Nielsen “is a welcome step in the right direction,” Steele added.

Nielsen is currently testing a smartphone/tablet app to record television viewing information. A more traditional online website version that mirrors the app also is available.

“The multiaccess-point approach allows people to enter information throughout their day on whichever type of device they choose or is readily at hand in the moment,” Nielsen chief methodologist Michael Link, who is overseeing this area of research, said in a statement. “In that way, we increase the number of people who can participate and expect to improve compliance to ensure we are capturing all of their viewing.”

CIMM and Nielsen said they will initially focus on early-stage proof-of-concept tests to assess the utility of multiplatform solutions. The duo also will collaborate on the future direction of the mTAM initiative as well as other relevant trials being conducted.

Current CIMM members are: A+E Networks, Belo, CBS, Carat USA, ConAgra, Discovery Communications, Gannett, GroupM, Hearst, Interpublic Group Mediabrands, LEGO Systems, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, News Corp., Omnicom Media Group, P&G, Publicis Groupe, Scripps Networks, Time Warner Inc., Unilever, Univision Communications, Viacom and The Walt Disney Co.

“CIMM is pleased to collaborate with Nielsen’s mTAM initiative to pilot-test smartphones and tablets as both passive and active data-collection devices, with the goal of continuously improving measurement of TV viewing in local markets,” CIMM managing director Jane Clarke said in a prepared statement.