Australian Smartphone and Tablet Data

TV Ratings To Measure Smartphone Viewers

With increasing numbers of Australians using catch up services to watch TV at a time (and on a device) that suits them, we are seeing audience fragmentation that is increasingly complex to track.  As audiences shift their TV and video experience to other screens and away from live consumption of broadcast content, audience measurement has struggled to keep up. According to the Nielsen Multi-Screen Report for Q2 2013 Australians now spend just over 2 hours per month watching online video (including broadcast and non broadcast) on their mobile devices.   That’s compared to over 96 hours per month for traditional TV, but the numbers are rising and young people (18 – 24) are watching as much as 13 hours per month of video on mobile devices.

Nielsen is the official source of television audience measurement for the Free to air networks and subscription television channels in Australia.  They are well aware of the changing state of the market:  “Industry breakthroughs like multi-room DVRs, Internet-connected TVs, tablets, smart phones and even in-browser and app content players deliver more choices and flexibility than ever before. They’ve also led to audience fragmentation and marketplace challenges regarding how to properly value and monetize video content.”

All of this has certainly raised the question of how producers, broadcasters and advertisers can continue to rely on the TV ratings process to make business decisions.  In response Nielsen announced in April that they were working on an updated software development kit to enable web and mobile viewers to be incorporated in their TV audience measurement ratings.

Recently Nielsen announced the availability of this new SDK.  The  solution enables tracking and measurement of video content across screens.  Not all digitally consumed content will be included however.  If a TV broadcaster makes a show available for viewing on a digital device, and it meets the ad and timeline requirements for TV ratings, then it will be included in Nielsen’s TV ratings, even if it is watched on an entirely different screen. If content is not eligible for TV ratings, perhaps because too much time has passed since the broadcast, or dynamic ads have been inserted for web viewing, or because the content did not actually originate from TV, it will be included in Nielsen’s Digital Ratings measurement.

Showing they intend to remain in touch with audience movement, in October Nielsen also launched a combined initiative with Twitter to rank TV shows based on Twitter conversations, although interestingly, early reports show there is no correlation between high rating TV shows and high Twitter usage.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.