The ratings measurement company is readying software updates to better track television viewing on mobile and digital devices.
As the television watching climate continues to change, more and more Americans are viewing traditional cable and network content on a variety of devices. In the past, it has been difficult to track ratings through these alternative venues, but now Nielsen has announced advancements in its tracking software that will incorporate mobile and internet viewing into its ratings system. The new software development kit will be available to Nielsen clients in mid-November.
"We've been working hard to deliver this new SDK and are excited to be able to deliver a single client solution that supports both the linear (TV style) and dynamic (Internet style) ad models," said Megan Clarken, EVP, Global Product Leader, Nielsen. "This unified encoding approach for video enables measurement to follow content across screens and ad models."
The new system will incorporate views tracked on DVRs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, and other mobile and digital devices into the traditional Nielsen TV ratings, so long as they meet the ad load and timeline requirements. If they don't meet such requirements, then the views will instead be logged under the Nielsen Digital Ratings. The new software will be able to properly credit the tracked views based on audio watermarks, metadata and digital tags. Sources such as Facebook will also be used to help track mobile viewing.
With this new SDK, Nielsen hopes to include ratings from digital devices into its traditional TV measurements for the 2014-2015 TV season, giving a much more accurate assessment of a show's popularity and ad value.