Nielsen to Phase in Total Content Ratings

Nielsen, working with its largest TV and media agency clients, has set a schedule for phasing in its new Total Content Ratings, part of its Total Audience Measurement market.

The ratings company said that multi-phased release plan enables participating programmers, then agencies, to evaluate data before the final release phase in March. Between now and March 1, 2017, clients with access will be able to use the data for internal purposes only. Effective March, all clients will be able to use the data externally to support their business needs.

Some elements of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement system are already available to TV and digital media brands.

Related: No More Paper Diaries for Nielsen Local Ratings

Here is Nielsen’s timetable for releasing Total Content Ratings tools and data:

  • Aug. 1, 2016: The Total Content Ratings toolset became available to all participating publishers with the ability to see data for other publishers—an important milestone in evaluation.
  • Fourth Quarter 2016: The participating publisher release will continue. In addition, Nielsen will also make select data available to agencies and the press.
  • January 1, 2017: The Total Content Ratings toolset will become available to agencies in addition to publishers. Nielsen will continue to make select data available to the press.
  • March 1, 2017: The Total Content Ratings toolset will be available to all Nielsen clients.

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Nielsen also released a bunch of testimonials from clients about the importance of moving to a total audience way of measuring viewing. Here are some of them:

“At A&E Networks, our investment in original programming has driven success across our network portfolio over a variety of platforms,” said Don Robert, executive VP,  research & analytics. “Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement and framework allows us to begin to tell that success story and provide opportunities for deeper insights into our audiences beyond just the linear experience.”

“CBS’s content is being consumed across multiple platforms and devices,” said David Poltrack, chief research officer, CBS Corporation. “We have been working closely with Nielsen on Total Audience since last year and we are pleased with the results thus far. We are deep in the process of evaluating the data and considering its impact on the market, our programming and our advertising partners. We are in support of the syndication schedule for the data and we are looking forward to working with Nielsen to further expand measurement across even more platforms in the near future.”

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"As Nielsen produces Total Content Ratings as part of its Total Audience service, necessary time is needed for its clients and their partners to review and understand the changes in both how metrics are calculated vs. existing Nielsen measurement as well as time to evaluate the inclusion of viewing on platforms not currently measured.  We support a regimented schedule in the evaluation of this new data to ensure the integrity of the marketplace represented,” said Lisa Heimann, VP, Disney/ABC multiplatform research.

“Nielsen is on the right path to Total Audience measurement, but this is a complex and collaborative effort that demands a patient and measured approach toward successful implementation across evolving platforms. The new Total Content Ratings schedule will give us the time we need to complete that process, evaluate results and ensure the best outcome,” said Artie Bulgrin, senior VP, global research & analytics, ESPN.

"IPG is focused on optimizing media across platforms and devices which in turn allows us to deliver more effective multiscreen buying and planning. Our goal is to create and deliver advertising that makes an impact on our clients' business and to do this we have to have a complete understanding of all viewing for ads. We are looking forward to having Nielsen's Total Audience measurement as part of our toolkit to help deliver the results our clients need," said Brian Hughes, senior VP, audience analysis practice Lead at IPG's Magna Global unit.

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“As consumer consumption of video content becomes increasingly fluid across screens, having visibility into reliable and consistent cross-screen audience metrics is essential to planning and activating video strategies for our clients. Nielsen’s Total Content Ratings will be an important data stream to help shed light on where, when and how consumers are engaging with content so that we can optimize video strategies that will best deliver business results for marketers,” said Peter Sedlarcik, executive VP, business insights & intelligence, Havas Media.

“Today we collaborate with Nielsen on various forms of traditional and digital media measurement. As audiences continue to become more diverse and their consumption habits evolve, it is important that we work together to capture this audience. From a consumer insights perspective, the data coming from Total Audience is extremely important and we look forward to seeing how this data can become actionable across Univision,” said Jed Meyer, executive VP, corporate research at Univision Communications.

“Nielsen’s Total Audience is an important step forward in enabling us to communicate the true scale of audiences and attention to premium television content and ads regardless of where they’re consumed, by delivering cross-platform measurement in common buying and planning metrics. Today we are working with Nielsen to shape the data deliverables and look forward to the syndication of Total Audience and the new paradigm it represents for the industry,” said Audrey Steele, executive VP, sales research insights & strategy at Fox Networks Group.

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.