Nielsen Research Council Sets Study on Multiplatform Media Use


The Council for Research Excellence, an independent forum of media industry research experts created by Nielsen, has commissioned a year-long study by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design to observe how individuals consume traditional and emerging video platforms inside and outside the home, officials said Monday.

The Video Consumer Mapping Study, to be conducted jointly by CMD and Sequent Partners, a brand and media metrics consultancy, is intended to establish how media -- especially television and video -- are consumed across multiple platforms, in order to develop best practices in the area of video media measurement.

To conduct the Video Consumer Mapping Study, researchers will directly observe the activities of sample participants, recording them, with computer assistance, in 10-second intervals throughout their waking day. These observers will categorize participants’ media exposure within the context of their daily activities, location and attention. A sample of 350 people will be measured twice over a six-month period in five major markets: Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seattle.

In addition to that core sample, another 100 people, located in the Indianapolis market, will be observed both before and after the Media Acceleration Process, a research method developed by Ball State and Sequent Partners that will help to anticipate adoption and usage of emerging technologies and their impact on existing technologies.

The decision to proceed with a comprehensive study of media usage follows upon the successful completion of a pilot study conducted by Ball State and Sequent Partners in 2007. That study demonstrated that observational techniques can capture a respondent’s usage for the entire day and that it is possible to include in the study all relevant consumer segments, including high-tech and ethnically diverse respondents.

The Council for Research Excellence was created by Nielsen in 2005, via a dedicated $2.5 million research and development fund. To date, Nielsen has committed $7.5 million to the council, which serves as an independent forum for Nielsen to gain greater insights and to ensure that client priorities are reflected in Nielsen’s research and development spending.

“The migration of video usage beyond traditional television is an increasingly important issue for media companies, advertisers and their agencies,” Nielsen chief research officer Paul Donato said in a prepared statement. “In a world where people increasingly watch programming online, on mobile devices and outside the home, this study will help us better understand how people are changing the way they consume media so that we can make informed decisions on how to measure it.”