Nielsen has been the dominant entity measuring TV ratings for decades. These ratings have determined the rise and fall of programs and they have become a trusted guide for media buyers.
Recent years raised the question of whether Nielsen ratings are still able to sufficiently measure the entire audience anymore. People cited the rise of SVOD platforms, such as Hulu and Netflix, online platforms such as YouTube, and channels’ websites where you can occasionally watch partial or even complete episodes.
According to Nielsen, only approx. 15% of the 25-34 demographic is watching the live airing of favorite TV shows compared with 64% of adults age 50+. Connect TV accounted for 22% of viewers of the younger demographic and digital sources accounted for 18%. Nielsen ratings understate the actual rating considerably.
Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement tool aims at overhauling the entire system – it is no less of a paradigm shift for media buyers. This tool will account for all viewing across linear TV, DVR, VOD, connected TV devices, mobile, PC, and tablets. “What we have to do to perform a cross-platform total audience measurement is line all of those numbers up, so they have to be apples-to-apples comparisons,” Megan Clarken, Nielsen’s project manager, said.
Nielsen has already started updating clients about these improvements. The tool will be finalized and available on the market around March 2017 and we will certainly keep you posted. In the meantime, please find additional information here.