Nielsen to update measurements for local television

NEW YORK – The company Nielsen, increasingly criticized by the television industry, has said it will soon include households that have cut cable in favor of broadband in its audience measurements for the television markets. local television.

Nielsen estimates that about 20% of American homes are now equipped with broadband just for on-screen entertainment. The company is already including these homes in its national TV metrics, but in January it will do so for local markets, giving TV channels a more complete picture of who’s watching in order to sell ads.

“This is a big step in ensuring that our measure is truly inclusive,” said Catherine Herkovic, general manager of Nielsen and executive vice president of local television.

The move comes as media companies have expressed dissatisfaction with Nielsen, which for decades has had a virtual monopoly on television audience measurement, a statistic used to govern billions of dollars in advertising spending.

Because of this position, it is not uncommon for media companies to complain about Nielsen and aspire to a competitor. They fear that Nielsen may not be equipped to handle the drastic shift to streaming services and viewing on multiple devices.

While media and technology have been completely transformed, measurement remains obsolete, said Kelly Abcarian, executive vice president of NBCUniversal, measurement and impact, advertising and partnerships.

Last month, NBCUniversal sent out a request for proposals to other companies to help build a new measurement system and got 80 responses, more than expected. It’s a bold step: Despite all the periodic dissatisfaction with Nielsen, it never resulted in a competitor living up to its scale and service.

“It’s time for us to declare measurement independence and create solutions that will serve all consumers, advertisers, publishers and platforms for the next century,” said Abcarian.

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