Nielsen, Clients Meet on Ad Ratings

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Nielsen Media Research met with more than 100 clients Thursday to discuss various options for providing commercial-minute ratings, agreeing to let its customers create their own commercial ratings for any minute of viewing and any interval of digital-video-recorder playback.

Because clients require different levels of granularity and flexibility in their ratings data, Nielsen said it will enhance its existing products to provide highly granular data so that clients will have all of the data they need to create commercial ratings at the minute level on up and for any interval of DVR playback from one minute to seven days.

Nielsen said it will continue to move forward with developing an average commercial-minute ratings file, which provides commercial ratings in a convenient format for clients’ commonly used legacy software systems.

Nielsen told its clients that starting April 24, it will make available all of the data they need to create their own ratings for any given minute of the day for any period of DVR playback they want through its All Minute Data File. Beginning Jan. 29, this same analytical capability will be added to Nielsen’s NPOWER software.

This enhancement will allow advertising agencies, advertisers and programmers to develop individualized minute-by-minute ratings of national commercials by demographic group for all national television programs, including DVR playback at any interval up to seven days.

New file formats for the All Minute Data File will be supplied to Nielsen clients and their third-party software-solution providers early next week.

Based on Thursday’s meeting, Nielsen believes there is continued interest in an average-commercial-minute ratings file, and the specifications and timing for this new product will be determined by month’s end.

At the client meeting, there was much discussion around several areas for which decisions need to be made. Among these was significant client interest in the development of additional data streams for this particular file, especially Live plus two days and Live plus three days.

Nielsen will spend the next two weeks consulting further with clients and will then announce when the average-commercial-minute ratings file will become available (the date being no later than May 31) and what streams of ratings data it will include.

During the meeting, Nielsen presented an analysis of DVR playback that found that among 18- to 49-year olds recording primetime programming:

• The DVR playback within two days was 76% for broadcast networks, 85% for ad-supported cable networks and 85% for all syndicated shows; and

• The DVR playback within three days was 84% for broadcast networks, 89% for ad-supported cable networks and 91% for all syndicated shows.

“The goal of today’s client meeting was to bring clients together to seek feedback on what their needs are for commercial ratings,” Nielsen general manager of national services Sara Erichson said in a prepared statement.

“This was a very productive meeting in which diverse opinions were expressed,” she added. “We will continue to review the various options and seek additional opinions on what best meets the needs of the industry. It seems clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to commercial ratings, and that providing the industry with multiple tools that range from very flexible and granular to more standardized formats is the best approach.”

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