Nielsen To Add Smartphone, Tablet Viewership To Ratings Tabulation

nielsenNielsen is announcing a plan to incorporate smart phone and tablet viewing into its TV ratings beginning in the Fall of 2014, according to the New York Times. The move is reportedly a response to pleas from the networks to give a more complete accounting of viewership.

With more people watching TV in less conventional ways now, the networks have reportedly been pressuring Nielsen to include that viewership in its reports that measure advertising rates and often influence perceptions of program success or failure.

Since Nielsen ratings are mainly used for buying and selling TV advertising air time, the expansion plan will not include services like Netflix, which airs previous seasons of shows, or Hulu, which is jointly owned by the parent companies of ABC, Fox, and NBC, because ads streamed on that service are different from the ones on network TV. The company will however measure online streams of programs that have the same ads in the same order as regular broadcasts.

The company plans to formally announce the move next week at New York’s Advertising Week conference.


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Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at [email protected]

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