Nielsen’s first effort to combine
Internet video watching with traditional
TV ratings is set to go live this month —
but initial demand seems limited.
Starting the week of April 25, the company
will count online views of TV shows that
carry the same national ads that appeared
in the original broadcasts in its extended
three-day ratings. Referred to as “C3,” the
metric was designed to give credit for viewing
on digital video recorders within three
days of air. Ratings, including “Extended
Screen,” will be available to Nielsen clients
Initially, however, Turner Broadcasting
System appears to be the only programmer
interested in serving the same ad load online,
in certain episodes it makes available
through TV Everywhere services with affiliates
including Comcast, Dish Network and
Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV.
The idea behind the metric is that C3 ratings
for shows from such networks as TBS
and TNT would get an extra bump from
cable subscribers watching on their PCs.
“We provide content that will be rated [by
Nielsen’s Extended Screen service] from
all of our networks,” Turner spokeswoman
Misty Skedgell said. “The content changes
on a weekly basis and we plan on providing
more as we go into the future.”
Representatives for NBC Universal and Viacom last
week said they were still evaluating their options with respect
to participating in Extended Screen. And many other
broadcasters and cable programmers said they had no
plans to replicate the TV advertising load in online content.
(Nielsen declined to
identify which networks it is
working with on the project.)
As one ad-agency executive
said: “Wrapping online
viewing into C3 is a technical
achievement, but isn’t
terribly important from a
business perspective since
the ad loads online still don’t
Nielsen kicked off the initiative,
“TVandPC,” in 2009. It began
deploying software to participants
in its 20,000-household National People
Meter panel in February 2010. Currently,
more than 9,000 of those homes are outfitted
to measure Extended Screen viewing
on computers, and Nielsen plans to continuously
“It is the most highly representative
single-source panel of its kind,” Matt
O’Grady, Nielsen executive vice president
of cross-platform audience measurement,
There’s a chicken-and-egg issue in getting
TV content providers to participate
in the new model, O’Grady pointed out:
“The content will be there when it can be
monetized effectively.” He added, “We’ll
follow what the industry wants us to do.”
Nielsen is already working on the second
phase of Extended Screen for additional enhanced cross-platform program ratings, though details are still to be determined, O’Grady said. Measuring TV viewing on iPads and other Internet-based devices is not formally part of Extended Screen "2.0," but Nielsen says the project has put in place the foundation for that sort of measurement.
Both Time Warner Cable and Cablevision
Systems have launched iPad
apps that provide live television — and
one of the concerns from programmers
is that they get proper credit for ad impressions
on these new devices (see
“We’re working with the operators to make sure we have
the appropriate measurement tool in place for every application,”
O’Grady said. “This is not daunting to us because
we have the infrastructure in place… I think what has happened
this time is, things are moving so quickly.”
Details of Nielsen’s online-video ratings plan:
• Data collection begins week of April 25.
• Content must carry same national ads that ran in the broadcast
version and be viewed within three days of air to receive C3 credit.
• National promos and local ads may be removed and/or un-encoded
digital ads may be inserted over them in online versions.
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