The television industry’s quest for a true multi-platform measurement metric continued to move forward Wednesday, with broadcaster CBS announcing that its digital subscription service CBS All Access will become the first app and online offering to be certified for Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings measurement.
The new relationship is a component of Nielsen’s Total Audience Measurement initiative, which is expected to provide measurement data across all viewing platforms including linear, digital video recorders, online and mobile.
As more and more consumers view content on different devices and through DVRs as well as live TV, content companies have been clamoring for a new currency to measure total viewership, regardless of the device or the time period. ComScore’s $779 million agreement to purchase rival measurement firm Rentrak on Tuesday is another example of how pressing the need for more accurate measurement has become.
With the Nielsen deal, CBS becomes the first network broadcaster to include digital audience measurement in their television ratings by incorporating Nielsen’s SDK metering technology into CBS All Access within its mobile apps and online video player. With this agreement, CBS will be able to measure viewership of All Access’ live offering of local CBS TV stations (available in about 95 markets), across Android and iOS systems, and desktop and laptop computers. This is in addition to the existing measurement of current season on demand content through other measurement products and Nielsen Television Index’s measurement of Connected TV viewing.
“CBS’s world-class content is being consumed across multiple platforms and devices,” said CBS Digital Media EVP and GM Marc DeBevoise in a statement. “From day one, we made it a priority for CBS All Access to provide the most sophisticated measurement capabilities and have been working closely with Nielsen to implement Digital in TV Ratings. We look forward to working closely with Nielsen to further expand measurement across even more platforms in the near future.”
Nielsen’s Total Audience enables content providers to monetize digital audiences through both linear and dynamic ad models, leveraging its Nielsen TV panel with census-based measurement. With Digital in TV Ratings, Nielsen will report audiences for ratings-qualified content consumed across both computer and mobile devices and add this viewing into the current existing C3/C7/Average Quarter Hour TV Ratings services.
“Nielsen’s mobile and computer ratings reinforce our commitment to provide comprehensive Total Audience measurement, measuring audiences anywhere and on any platform they are using to watch content,” said Nielsen Managing Director National Client Service Peter Bradbury in a statement. “We are very excited about the advancements we’ve made in TV audience ratings by including digital in order to understand viewing beyond traditional television, and we will continue to work very closely with CBS as they expand their digital measurement strategy.”