NBCU Announces Olympic-Sized Measurement Plans

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NBC Universal may not have released its Olympics schedule yet, but it plans a far-reaching research initiative to measure what it is calling the largest single media event ever.

In addition to tapping Nielsen for broadcast and cable TV measurement, NBCU, which will feature 3600 hours of Olympic coverage from Beijing between Aug. 8-24 on multiple media platforms, including 2200 via live streaming broadband video, also will use different metrics for its online, video on demand and mobile presentations. The programmer will assemble and issue daily usage reports, under the heading of Total Audience Measurement Index for the first time.

Not only will the TAMi indicate total exposure to the Olympics each day, it will also give an indication of trends that develop on any one particular platform over the course of the Games, according to NBCU officials.

In addition to measuring the Olympics in a new way, NBCU will conduct a series of research projects to better understand how and why consumers are using the multiple media platforms available to them. Three major studies will take place focusing on consumption habits, behavior, changes, usage and patterns:

*an online survey of 500 Olympics consumers daily will help NBCU understand the total multiplatform experience;

* under a single-source panel, NBCU will join with IMMI to track the media behavior of 40 consumers across all of the vehicles, including the amount of time spent and what media they used during the day and both inside and outside the home;

*an Olympics qualitative panel will gather data via in-depth consumer interviews and diary entries, with the results informing why they made certain media choices;

NBCU will also conduct a series of studies to help demonstrate to advertisers the value of their Olympics investment.  Using IAG engagement metrics, NBCU will provide clients with information on ad and sponsorship effectiveness for their broadcast advertising, and for the first time, their online advertising. The studies will also provide clients with information on the best media mix, highlighting which platforms, and which combination of platforms, were most effective.

“An event of this magnitude requires the biggest and most sophisticated research effort to measure it,” said NBCU president of research Alan Wurtzel in a statement. “The size and duration of the Olympics presents us with extraordinary opportunities to gather data on viewer behavior.  Not only will we measure these Games in a way we've never done before, but we'll also be able to gather data that helps us better understand the new media consumer. At the end of the Olympics, no other research entity in the world will have as much knowledge on cross-platform usage as NBC Universal.”

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