In an article she wrote for MediaPost, Nielsen's EVP of Global Product Leadership, Megan Clarken, says the TV industry must adopt new ratings standards. Clarken acknowledges TV ratings are declining and consumers have more control now than ever before with new devices, subscription-based streaming services and time-shifted viewing. "We believe that the fundamental changes occurring in today?s viewing landscape call for the industry to adopt a new set of ratings standards: 1.Total Audience, which combines the total audience for a program or content regardless of the mode of access, including SVOD; 2.Total Commercial, which includes ratings for the ad campaign regardless of where and how it?s consumed, providing flexibility for dynamic ad insertion."
Clarken writes the decline in traditional TV ratings can be attributed to four factors, three that are real declines and one that is due to a Nielsen methodology change. "The growing shift of audiences to time-shifted digital content, including both SVOD (subscription video on demand), such as Netflix, and digital properties distributing traditional television programming, such as Hulu. Neither of these are included in the current TV ratings under industry definitions. Increased viewership of TV programs on devices such as tablets and smartphones, which became eligible for inclusion in Nielsen ratings this fall. Growing time and attention spent on newer sources of video content, such as YouTube. The addition of broadband-only viewing to the TV ratings universe."
Clarken says the challenge is to retain and build audiences and to prove their value to advertisers. "To do this, Nielsen is prepared to present the total picture of the consumer ? one that fully reflects their viewing of all content available and delivers a proven return to our clients on their investments. Nielsen is committed to measuring the total audience."
Read the full MediaPost article HERE
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