WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Changing the Nielsen Ratings

Oct 27, 2015

Nielsen is known for measuring TV ratings, which helps determine what shows air and how much money networks can charge for ads on programs.

Ad Week reports Nielsen has spent a couple years developing a tool to measure viewers across all platforms—not just TV. The concept is called “total audience measurement” and Ad Week reports Nielsen will begin rolling it out in December. 

TV viewership has dropped in recent years while viewership across other platforms has increased.  So Nielsen’s new tool is a big deal – it will measure viewership on TVs, DVRs, Roku, X-Box, personal computers, tablets, and more.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said people are still watching programs but they’ve shifted to other devices, so Nielsen’s tool is a huge  development.  She said it could potentially mean billions of dollars in advertising revenue for networks and show producers.

Panelist Abby Wendle said the tool is also a big deal for those who create shows – they will have a better idea of how many people are enjoying their stories.  And she said even though people can now watch a particular program whenever they like, many still try to see it within a week of it coming out.

Panelist Rich Egger feels that’s because they don’t want to be left out of the loop if others in their circle watch the same program.  He also hoped Nielsen new system will measure a more diverse audience than it has in the past.