The ratings company made this eagerly awaited announcement as ad executives converge on New York for Advertising Week, a dizzying collection of meetings and seminars for the industry. Nielsen’s new service is sure to create some buzz. Many TV programmers have been reluctant to put their shows online because they couldn’t demonstrate to advertisers how many people were viewing on mobile devices including tablets and smartphones. The ratings company says it now can offer that information through its new Nielsen Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings, available beginning today. Tests from March through August — with companies including ESPN, Facebook, GroupM, Hulu and Unilever – showed that Nielsen could offer “comparable metrics across TV and digital, measuring unique audience on each, along with overlapping audience and total combined unique audience,” the company says. Nielsen figures that more than half of Americans watch video online. In a separate report out today, Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism says that 12% of tablet owners watch videos daily, and 38% watch at least once a week.
Looks like that “inexplicable drop” in Nickelodeon ratings from September that Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman noted in a November 10 conference call with analysts still bedevils the children’s network. Its full-day total audience was down 16.7% in the week of November 20. That gave Disney Channel its first victory over Nickelodeon since August 2007, when Disney introduced High School Musical 2. Nick’s audience of kids 11 and under was off 11% in September vs the same month last year, -17% in October, and -19% for the first three weeks of November. The reports worried Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce enough for him to downgrade Viacom to “neutral” from “buy.” He notes that “advertisers are going to want to pay for the lower Nielsen ratings, which could be resulting in make-goods … that could pressure ad revenue” in the current quarter.
It’s curious, though: When Dauman spoke to analysts early this month, he made it sound like the trouble at Nick was history: He called it “a short-term phenomenon,” adding that “I always believe in looking forward, so we’ll go through that blip, it’s not material to overall company and we will move on.” He also put the blame on Nielsen’s measurements — not Nick’s programming — noting that “independent set-top box data … shows meaningfully different viewership trends.”
Arthur C. Nielsen Jr, whose family name became synonymous with the television ratings system, died on Monday in the Chicago suburb where he’d lived most of his life. He succumbed to Parkinson’s disease. He was 92. Nielsen went to work …
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