VOD Software To Include Nielsen Codes

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Nielsen took a technological step forward Wednesday in its march to measure video-on-demand viewership, announcing a collaboration with software company Anystream.

Nielsen “watermarking” technology will be built in to Anystream’s Agility software, allowing cable operators, content providers and distributors to encode audio cues into VOD programming. The programming can then be tracked by the ratings company’s “active/passive” meters, which detect the audio codes.

Anystream Product Marketing VP Fady Lamaa said the inclusion of Nielsen’s technology will give “the production economies of scale and the tracking and measurement data required to capitalize on advertising opportunities and develop practical VOD business models.”

Scott Brown, Nielsen senior vice president of strategic relationships, marketing and technology, said the move “will allow us to help better serve our clients as they move forward in the on-demand realm.”

In May, Nielsen announced it will incorporate VOD viewership into its television ratings service from national and metered market samples, starting in the second quarter of 2006.

The company will measure the viewership of VOD programming in a seven-day window after the programming airs on traditional television. By the end of next year, Nielsen plans to measure VOD viewership of movies, pay-per-view events and older TV shows.