Nat Geo First Net To Do Deal For Nielsen Set-Top Data

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National Geographic Channel has become the first network to sign up for Nielsen’s new DigitalPlus service, which collects second-by-second viewing data from set-tops, officials said Tuesday.

Under its agreement with Nielsen, National Geographic Channel will gain access to granular data, relating to engagement and commercial retention, from more than 330,000 set-top boxes within Charter Communications’ Los Angeles cable system.

 This set-top box information will complement traditional People Meter ratings data from Nielsen’s samples and will allow National Geographic Channel to develop new analyses in a number of important areas, including: commercial and commercial pod ratings with second by second granularity; commercial creative retention; and standard versus HDTV measurement


“We’re committed to using both syndicated and proprietary research to get a richer understanding of what resonates with our viewers to help focus our marketing and programming efforts,” Brad Dancer, National Geographic Channel’s senior vice president of research and digital media, said in a statement. “Nielsen DigitalPlus gives us unique advantages in reaching our targeted audiences because it offers a direct link between set-top boxes in subscriber homes and set-top boxes in its People Meter panels, enabling Nielsen to provide context for the raw STB data and integrate it with a wealth of other datasets.

Nielsen launched its DigitalPlus service in 2007 to measure consumer-viewing habits from all emerging digital devices.  Digital set-top box data offer opportunities to supplement traditional panel based measurement with more granular detail of program and commercial performance.  The added granularity enables researchers to look at second-by-second tuning behavior among a variety of new metrics.

“The rapid evolution of the television landscape is causing the media industry to look for better ways to measure viewer engagement with content, as well as retention rates across commercial breaks,” Jed Meyer, senior vice president of Nielsen DigitalPlus, said in a prepared statement. “DigitalPlus is another example of Nielsen developing measurement tools that address the needs of our clients and we applaud National Geographic Channel for taking advantage of the detailed insights that our service offers.”

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