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Nielsen launches new service to measure streaming viewership

23-October-2017
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 Nielsen launches new service to measure streaming viewership

Nielsen has recently announced a new service called Nielsen Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) Content Ratings, to measure streaming services’ programs in a way that’s comparable to linear TV. The service will include ratings, reaches, frequency and segmentation reporting.
According to a report published by TechCrunch, the service won’t just track the number of people streaming a show, but the audience makeup as well – like the viewers’ ages, for example. It will also help content producers track their shows’ full lifecycle – from airing on TV, to time-shifted viewing via DVRs and other on-demand options to streaming services.

Nielsen’s new offering initially only works with Netflix, but expects to add Amazon Prime and Hulu in 2018. However, Netflix has long played by its own rules, and it is not likely to hand over its streaming data to an outside party.

It must be mentioned that Nielsen has been releasing its Netflix data privately to media companies that have subscribed to the service, including the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, NBCUniversal and A&E Networks.

Netflix, which announced earnings this week, continues to grow both globally and in the U.S. The company surpassed its own expectations, adding 5.3 million new total subscribers – 850,000 from the U.S. and 4.45 million from international markets.

This is not the first time that Nielsen has targeted the streaming space, having been aware of the shift to over-the-top TV for many years now. The company began measuring streaming content in 2014 through an opt-in service, but this new option will tap into the demographic and household characteristic data of the Nielsen TV Panel, the company explains.

Another report in the New York Times pointed out that the move was a necessary step for Nielsen — and one that many in the industry have said is long overdue. Some entertainment executives have criticized the company as being a relic of the channel-surfing era while more viewers take to streaming content.

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