Time Warner Taps Nielsen For Comprehensive Measurement

Signs 7-year deal for TV, online and mobile measurement

Time Warner and The Nielsen Company announced they have signed a seven-year deal under which Nielsen will provide all of its measurement services to Time Warner under one contract. The deal includes Nielsen's television, online and mobile measurement services, as well as research on advertising segmentation and targeting, and consumer engagement. 

News of the deal, which broke this morning, is noteworthy in that Time Warner was named as part of a consortium interested in backing alternative measurement service to Nielsen to advance tracking of new ways of watching TV. That consortium involves the big media companies, two agency groups and three advertisers. Some have suggested that the formation of a consortium was a way to help prevent cost escalation.

The agreement provides Nielsen services to Time Warner's broadcast, cable, syndication business units and affiliates, including Turner Broadcasting, The CW Television Network, HBO, Warner Brothers Domestic TV Distribution, Time Inc., RET Media and station WPCH.

According to the statement, Time Warner is paying for national and local television ratings; online and mobile measurement; segmentation and targeting from Nielsen Claritas; consumer engagement from Nielsen IAG; and media analytical tools from Nielsen IMS. The cost of the new contract was not disclosed.

"As people spend more time consuming media on an increasing variety of platforms and devices it is crucial that we continue to improve how content usage is captured," said Turner Broadcasting System Chief Research Officer Jack Wakshlag in a statement. "Our new agreement with Nielsen will provide all Time Warner businesses aggregate measurement and improved reporting across the media landscape. We have also agreed to continue our collaboration to foster innovation in the media measurement space."

Such aggregate reporting of viewer's media consumption is seen as a necessary component of Time Warner's new "TV Everywhere" strategy, which will use authentication technology to let cable subscribers watch cable programming online on an on-demand basis. Comcast is testing such technology later this year.

"We are extremely pleased to continue a long standing relationship with Time Warner," added Sara Erichson, President of Media Client Services N. America for The Nielsen Company, in a statement. "Through the years, Time Warner has collaboratively worked with us to help improve the media measurement business as a whole, and we look forward to continuing that work."