Nielsen Seeks Terms of ‘Engagement’

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Nielsen Media Research plans to initiate a study to try to determine the best way to measure “engagement,” or viewer recall of commercials and TV shows, officials said Tuesday at the company’s annual client meeting.

At its confab in Orlando, Fla., Nielsen said it will launch a panel of “People Meter” households next month that will be used to evaluate meaningful ways that engagement can be reported for television.

“Everyone wants to better understand how effectively messages are received and how program environment impacts the process,” Nielsen general manager of national services Sara Erichson said in a prepared statement. “This project will provide new insights into the critical links between the programs and commercials.”

The engagement project will ask People Meter homes that have reached the end of their two-year participation to continue for an additional month. During that time, their viewing data will continue to be collected, but they will not contribute to syndicated audience measurement. However, the group will be asked to participate in phone surveys to gauge the connection between what they watch and their recall, awareness and attitudes toward brands and products advertised.

Nielsen also said it will spend another $2.5 million to fund a second year of the Council for Research Excellence. That independent group -- made up of clients, academics and researchers -- was formed last year to explore contemporary research issues.

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