Don’t trust people when they tell you how much time they spend watching video on their smartphones and tablets. The ratings company learned that lesson the hard way after it changed the way it measures average monthly viewing from surveys to actual observations. The old numbers were off by a factor of — wait for it — 538%, TV station trade group TVB points out this morning. Using surveys, Nielsen‘s widely followed quarterly Cross-Platform Report last year put the monthly mobile video viewing average in Q4 at 5 hours and 23 minutes. But the new report, out yesterday, quietly restated that to just 1 hour — growing to 1 hour and 23 minutes a month in the last three months of 2013. “This disparity is an important reminder of the dangers inherent in trusting consumers’ claimed behavior and calls into question many recent studies that have proclaimed the demise of traditional media based on self-reported approximations of time spent with digital devices,” TVB Chief Research Officer Stacey Lynn Schulman says.
NEW YORK – January 29, 2014 – Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy, and CBS Corporation today announced the expansion of their longstanding relationship with a focus on advancing the state of cross-platform audience measurement and will continue to allow for the use of Nielsen data as a key metric in valuing their content.
The long-term agreement includes several strategic research initiatives such as the creation of attitudinal and behavioral segmentations that enable more discrete precision marketing and facilitate a deeper understanding of the path to purchase and resulting ROI of advertising activities.
UPDATED: Scandal’s third-season debut topped Nielsen’s first weekly Twitter TV ratings, bagging about 713,000 tweets reaching a Twitter audience of 3.7 million. (On TV, the third season debut of ABC’s Washington soap clocked an average of 10.5 million viewers.) Miley Cyrus came in second and third in Nielsen’s Twitter ratings report. At No. 2, her MTV documentary, Miley: The Movement ginned up 142,000 tweets, reaching about 3.2 million on Twitter. That was followed by Saturday Night Live, on which Cyrus played host and music act, which generated nearly 176,000 tweets reaching 3.146 million people on Twitter. These numbers come the same day Twitter officially unveiled the ratings measure, which considers the number of people who read TV-related tweets, not just the number of writers.
Not surprisingly, the Twitter Top-10 for the week of September 30 included lots of competition — competition-series fanatics love to tweet while viewing. The two episodes of NBC’s singing competition series The Voice checked in at No. 4 and No. 5, and ABC’s revamped Dancing With The Stars finished No. 8. Even Fox’s struggling The X Factor made the Top-10 list — twice — ranking No. 9 last Tuesday with 255.2 tweets reaching 2.039 million, and No. 10 on Wednesday with 188,000 tweets reaching more than 1.8 million people on Twitter. These numbers bear little resemblance to the TV ratings. Certain shows are Twitter crack, but not necessarily ratings magnets — we call it The Sharknado Effect. (Remember how the media predicted Syfy’s orgy of bad special effects had been a ratings phenom after seeing people go nuts over it on Twitter only to have to back-peddle when the ratings came in and they were totally meh?)
This shouldn’t surprise anyone following the recent Nielsen studies including ones in March and in August that showed the volume of tweets about a television show provide an early indication of how well it might perform. The new Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings will consider the number of people who read TV-related tweets, not just the number of writers, the companies said today. The effort could help Twitter‘s plan to go public: It said last week in an SEC filing that while the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating won’t “directly generate revenue” for the social network company it “will enhance our attractiveness to users and advertisers.” Twitter added that it has value as “a second screen for television programming” and that ads on Twitter complement “offline advertising campaigns, such as television ads.” Here’s today’s announcement:
NEW YORK — March 5, 2013 — ABC, ABC Family and ESPN have adopted Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to manage demographic guarantees for online video campaigns. Each network is using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings audience composition data in conjunction with total delivered impression counts from ad servers to calculate viewer demographics.
Nielsen will begin measuring viewers who watch TV programming via broadband Internet connection, the company confirmed today. Long criticized by broadcast TV networks for what they believe is significant viewership that regular ratings miss or exclude, Nielsen said its research …
This is the first time that Nielsen has looked at how many people use their DVRs or VOD to watch TV shows more than a week after they first run — and it’s easy to see why. Only a …
Arbitron shares are up 25% in pre-market trading after Nielsen Holdings said it would buy the rival ratings company best known for its measurement of radio audiences. Nielsen said it will pay $48 a share, a 26% premium over yesterday’s closing price, for a total of $1.26B. ”Arbitron will help Nielsen better solve for unmeasured areas of media consumption, including streaming audio and out-of-home,” Nielsen CEO David Calhoun says. “The high level of engagement with radio and TV among rapidly growing multicultural audiences makes this central to Nielsen’s priorities.” His company also says it will expand Arbitron’s “Watch” segment’s audience measurement across screens and forms of listening. “These integrated, innovative capabilities will enable broader measurement of consumer media behavior in more markets around the world,” Nielsen President of Global Media Products and Advertiser Solutions Steve Hasker says.
The timing of the announcement is surprising: Last week, Arbitron said that Sean Creamer would become CEO on January 1 when the current chief, William Kerr, retires. Arbitron shares have appreciated 7.4% over the last 12 months.
Here’s today’s release:
For all the talk about cord-cutting in the digital era, movement in that direction is relatively slow, as many viewers switch from cable to satellite or telepone providers rather than drop multichannel service altogether. Nielsen reports that 98% of viewing remained on traditional TV in Q4 2011. Cable lost more than 2.9 million subscribers as viewers switched to telephone or satellite providers. U.S. homes subscribing to cable, satellite or telephone providers for their TV service declined 1.5% or about 1.5 million last year, according to figures Nielsen released this week. Subscribers adding telco (about 1.9 million) or satellite service (roughly 280K) weren’t enough to make up the difference.