Nielsen To Transform TV-Rating System by 2024, Focus on Digitally Geared Audience

Photo by Luke Chesser via Unsplash

Nielsen To Transform TV-Rating System by 2024, Focus on Digitally Geared Audience

By Movieguide® Staff

Nielsen, which provides data to determine TV ratings, revealed plans to expand their company to gauge more than what is popular on TV networks. 

“Our customers want to understand how much audience came from different windows — from YouTube, from Amazon,” Scott N. Brown, general manager for audience measurement at Nielsen, said in an interview. “It really kind of changes the whole concept of what TV ratings are.”

Nielsen’s new plan, which they call “Nielsen One,” would expand their data collection to encompass other digital venues like cell phones and computers. Instead of calculating the total number of views per household, the new system would allow the media-management company to assess how many unduplicated views happened within a single time window. 

Nielsen’s TV data takes a sample of TV viewers across the U.S. and uses that to provide daily percentages for what U.S. households watch, estimate age and gender demographics, and offer approximations for how many total people watched a specific show. 

As technology encourages audiences away from TV Networks and towards other digital streaming services like Netflix and Dinsey+, commercials and advertisements—which advertisers and TV networks used to determine their deals—are easily avoided.  

As many advertisers and executives are in search of another way to collect data, they are also hesitant of media companies who are in control of ad pricing and audience behavior concerning those ads. 

“We look forward to holding all media to the same standards of performance accountability and transparency as a result of Nielsen’s new product,” Daryl Lee, Global CEO, IPG Mediabrands, said in a statement.

However, Nielsen’s suggested changes could face some challenges similar to when network television first started using the “commercial ratings” model nearly a decade ago. 

“We expect the industry will need time to move away from the current way of doing things,” Brown said.  

Brown also noted that linear TV ratings and digital exposure are often collected separately.

“It stands to reason that the world is getting more targeted and that is coming to television as well,” Nielsen’s Brown said.