Nielsen Media Research Tuesday unveiled its plans and timetable to measure video-on-demand usage, of both recently aired programming and library content, starting next year.
In a two-page letter to its clients, Nielsen said it will begin incorporating VOD viewership in its ratings service starting in the second quarter of 2006 by expanding collection of that data into its syndicated national and metered-market samples in phases.
In the second quarter of next year, Nielsen will start measuring viewership to recently aired programming that is watched via VOD within seven days of its initial airing on traditional TV, according to the ratings company.
By the fourth quarter of 2006, the ratings service will be measuring VOD viewership to library content such as theatrical movies, pay-per-view events and older TV shows.
“Many clients who provide VOD library content, as well as MSO clients, have expressed interest in this content being measured in our syndicated ratings panel,” Nielsen wrote in its missive to its customers. “In phase three, Nielsen will introduce the necessary infrastructure to enable measurement of these programs for clients who wish to have their programs measured.”
Nielsen said it will work closely with clients interested in the measurement of library content over the next few months to talk about what kind of ratings reports and analysis they need.
Nielsen plans to track VOD viewership using its new “Active/Passive Meter,” which responds to audio codes embedded in content. The ratings service is currently using the A/P Meter in local metered samples to collect data on time-shifted programs.
“Nielsen will accelerate the rollout of A/P beyond sample households that are ‘technically difficult,’” it said in its letter. “A/P Meters will be used in households that have access to video-on-demand or that have alternate means to time-shift programming … We commit, at minimum, that that any household that uses video-on-demand will be installed with an A/P Meter, with installations beginning in February 2006.”