As the radio industry awaits a Nielsen strategy to measure radio listeners migrating to mobile devices, The L.A. Times is reporting Facebook users who watch TV on a cellphone or tablet will be reported back to the ratings firm. More and more TV is being viewed on-demand as consumers watch their favorite shows when they want to on whatever device they choose. The social network will scan its databases and send the age and gender of the viewer to Nielsen. And, the two companies are promising this is not going to be an invasion of privacy as some worry.
According to the L.A. Times, the information sent to Facebook is not the name of the show, but a numerical code. The data sent back to Nielsen are in aggregate so Nielsen doesn't know the identities of any of the Facebook users. Facebook won't even know what show the code stands for. But Nielsen will learn, for instance, the age and gender breakdowns of the digital audience watching "MasterChef" or "The Bachelorette." One Nielsen executive said, "It is all anonymous and privacy-protected."
There is good reason for measuring the habits of consumers on mobile. EMarketer projects digital video ad revenue is expected to expand 40% this year to $6 billion.
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