Nielsen next month will release research to its clients discussing the results of tests in which it integrated data gathered from local set-top boxes in three markets -- Reno, Nev., Greenville, S.C., and St. Louis -- with information gleaned from locally-conducted panels and diaries, according to Cheryl Idell, executive vice president of media product leadership.
The tests, said Idell, after a panel on next-generation television measurement at NATPE in Miami on Jan. 25, were launched last summer, and held in the three markets because each market represents one of Nielsen's data-gathering methods. In St. Louis, Nielsen uses local people meters; in Greenville, set-top meters; and in Reno, diaries.
"We want to gather hybrid data that's able to answer our clients' business questions, including who is watching, and to help us and our clients understand how to connect that to what's happening online," said Idell. "We see a world where these techniques are knitted together."
Nielsen's market samples in these three markets were much bigger than are typically employed, but that's necessary in this new world of highly targeted media measurement, said panelists, which included Mark Piesanen, Google's director of strategic partner development; Cathy Hetzel, president of advanced media and information for Retrak; and David Burch, communications director for TubeMogul.
Nielsen also is preparing to test research methods that will measure how a television show performs across platforms. In April, it will launch phase one of these tests, tracking a show's performance across platforms when every airing contains exactly the same content and same advertisements. In phase two, Nielsen will track the same program across platforms, even when it does not contain the same advertising, said Idell.
Down the road, Nielsen wants to be able to rate advertisements, separate from the shows that surround them, and expects to incorporate social media into its data-gathering, according to Idell.