Digital TV meets Nielsen in 2014


It’s coming. Fall 2014: Nielsen will start to monitor TV viewing on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Nielsen Online

This capability is certainly a long-awaited measurement that television executives and marketers have been wanting. The television programming arena is still moving to digital.

Engaging video delivered online continues to grow in popularity  even for reasons beyond the consumer himself. Your brand will not only gain value from an increase in awareness with quality video online, but also “social buzz” and a positive impact on SEO.

Digital TV monitoring got a run-through this summer with Nielsen’s Digital Program Ratings pilot test. The company monitored broadcast and cable networks such as NBC, Fox, ABC, AOL CBS, Univision, The CW, Discovery and A&E. But the big announcement for 2014 is what the TV advertising industry has been waiting for.

These digital TV device measurements will more accurately gauge the way people watch TV today. Consider the many platforms  smartphones, tablets and laptops, along with broadband consoles like Wii, Playstation and Xbox. Adapters like Google’s Chromecast make television streaming incredibly easy and extremely affordable. Once Nielsen’s digital monitoring goes into full effect, you won’t hear the phrase: “People don’t watch much TV anymore.”

As of Oct. 7, Nielsen began measuring social TV elements. This includes Twitter posts about television, known as Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings. Twitter posts sometimes spur viewership, and advertisers will soon be hungry for this data. Influence from TV stars and viewers will eventually be measured as well.

The Twitter ratings won’t be added to a show’s rating, but will serve as a complement to Nielsen’s traditional ratings. Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will measure the volume of tweets about a given show and the reach of those tweets.

In our digital world, social TV will further help advertisers discover connections between viewers and the shows they watch, the digital conversations that surround top-ranked shows, and overall engagement with the “second screen.”

Thanks to Bri Boysen for her contributions to this post.


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