Nielsen said Tuesday that a number of TV companies will
participate in a pilot program of Nielsen Digital Program Ratings, which
measures the audience for TV content viewed online.
A+E Networks, ABC, CBS, The CW, Discovery Communications,
Fox, NBC and Univision will be part of the test, which will run from May
through July. AOL will also be a participant.
Nielsen Digital Program Ratings utilizes the same methodology
the company uses in its online campaign ratings service, which delivers TV-like
metrics for online ad campaigns. Nielsen Digital Program Ratings should provide
overnight audience data including unique audience, stream counts and reach by
age and gender.
Nielsen says that combining its digital program ratings and
its online campaign ratings will provide a more holistic view of the online and
TV audience for programming and for advertising. The company is aiming for a
commercial release of its digital program ratings later this year.
"The potential to measure video viewing of specific programs
on linear TV as well as the Internet is significant," Alan Wurtzel, president
of research and media development, NBCUniversal, said in a statement. "It's an
important step toward reaching the 'holy grail' of true cross-platform
Nielsen Digital Program Ratings and Nielsen Online Campaign
Ratings use a patent-pending process combining traditional Nielsen TV and
online panel data with aggregated, anonymous demographic information from
participating online data providers, including Facebook, the company said.