In what is reportedly a first, Nielsen will start providing ratings for HBO's subscription on-demand services, HBO On Demand and Cinemax on Demand, officials said Wednesday.
Nielsen and HBO claim that the premium service will be the first network to receive TV ratings for its on-demand offerings.
By tracking VOD usage through Nielsen’s National People Meter VOD Audience Measurement service, HBO will learn not only how many households are viewing its VOD offerings but the demographics of the audiences viewing each specific program, as well.
“Technology has changed the way people watch television and as our customers increasingly use our On Demand products to watch our shows on a timetable of their choosing, it is essential that we understand this growing shift in viewer behavior,” HBO senior vice president of research Jan Pasquale said in a statement. “The knowledge gained from this service will enable us to drive additional consumer satisfaction by understanding the appeal of our programming to specific audiences and developing targeted offerings for the full range of our customer base."
Nielsen credited HBO with being “instrumental” in developing the VOD-measurement service, working with Nielsen engineering and product development to fine-tune the reports and metrics. HBO is the first client to use the new service.
HBO in the past had received on-demand research data from Rentrak.
Nielsen estimates that 35.1 million households have access to on-demand services. The National People Meter VOD Audience Measurement service was introduced in December of 2006 with demonstration data available to interested clients. It uses patented technology to embed a code or “watermark” in a program to identify specific episode information. The service is based on the same sample that is used to produce all national ratings.
In addition to the National People Meter VOD Audience Measurement service, Nielsen is set to offer clients NORA, a service that tracks transactional data and is based on data collected through cable operators.