Remember Nielsen? At one time TV viewers were entranced with Nielsen Ratings and how that affected their favorite TV shows. Roll forward a generation of years to discover that TV is no longer interesting and that Nielsen is rating Online TV viewers. Here are four recent web offerings on Nielsen that spell their ongoing dominance in audience measurement and marketing.
Digital Program Ratings
While Nielsen ratings are still significant to TV advertisers, the digital audience is even more important to the big names, including NBC, Fox, ABC, Univision, Discovery and A+E. Nielsen announced recently that it is testing a tool to measure online viewing of TV shows, the latest step in the company’s efforts to improve how it tracks digital audiences.
“Broadcast and cable networks, have signed up for the pilot program for “Nielsen Digital Program Ratings,” which will happen over the next few months before a broader commercial rollout later this year,” according to Amol Sharma in a recent WSJ article. Sharma went on to say, “The TV networks will use the program primarily to track viewership of programs on their own websites. NBC, for example, will allow Nielsen to gather usage data for some shows that it streams on NBC.com.”
Changes in Viewing Habits
Kevin Kelleher points to the gradual change both in the habits of TV viewers generally and the product offering of Netflicks specifically in response to the viewer change. At one point Netflicks was leading the charge of a completely different model of viewer offerings online.
But with Nielsen pointing to the direction of profits, Netflicks has gradually moved closer to HBO, even while HBO was trying to offer something akin to Netflicks! “Not long ago, a Netflix executive said the company’s goal was to become like HBO faster than HBO became like Netflix, and it seems his wish has come true,” said Kelleher.
Video Has the Best Viewer Response
The dominant application on the Internet is video. Video traffic goes beyond the Vimeo and YouTube venue to include simple sidebar Ads, online, training and TV Shows. It is important to realize that while some amateur video plays well and even goes viral, it’s probably better for business communications to look for professional help. Customer testimonials, a walkthrough of the business site or store, featuring a product, providing a tutorial or making an explanation of how your service works. These are all excellent business videos.
Cameron Yuill makes the Nielsen connection, in an article on the effect of video viewer response. He says, “According to recent data, between 2009 and 2014, online video ad spending is estimated to swell from $1.97 billion to $5.71 billion. Forrester Research released a report in October, 2012 known as “The Digital Media Forecast 2012 – 2017,” which predicts that video ads will be the fastest growing sector of advertising, rising by an average of 26 percent a year until 2017. By 2014, Forrester forecasts that at least 40 percent of the online display ad market will take on the video format, perhaps eliminating the static banner ads and archaic click through rate attempts of old.”
Nielsen has kept up with Technology
The suggestion to take up the video flag for your business is, of course, based on Nielsen’s ratings of benefit from the viewer’s perspective. Nielsen has developed the technology to separate between one viewer watching a hundred videos and a hundred viewers watching the same video.
In an April 2013 press release from Nielsen regarding AOL’s recent agreement to use Nielsen’s Online Campaign RatingsTM, Nielsen explained it like this: “Measuring audiences instead of just streams is a significant innovation. While the online industry has traditionally been able to measure the number of video streams, it has been difficult to accurately measure audiences at a meaningfully granular level.”
So while old-style TV may be on the wane, the new influx of Online TV video viewing appears to be the new wave. Nielsen is there, already measuring.