The growing penetration of multiple screens for content consumption has posed sticky problems for marketing and media executives. And while Nielsen last week revealed plans to install Internet meters with TV meters across its measurement panel within the next year, observers say that it cannot come quickly enough and may not go far enough.
"We have to be able to measure [content] across all screens and we can't leave anything out," said David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corp. That includes more than three days of DVR playback, out-of-home viewing, on-demand and mobile.
"Nielsen and whoever wants to challenge Nielsen," he added, "is going to have to move very very quickly."
Poltrack was speaking at the B&C/Multichannel News 2nd annual OnScreen Media Summit in New York.
Nielsen isn't the only company attempting to come up with a cross-platform measurement solution. Fourteen founder members of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) which includes a slew of major industry players from NBC Universal to CBS Corp., are seeking ideas from a wide range of measurement services with the aim of finding the most effective solutions for moving the industry forward. The group is expected to issue request for proposals (RFPs) in the coming weeks.
Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer at Turner, characterized Nielsen's initiative as a "good plan." But he added, "We are looking for innovation from anyone or anywhere we can find it. I am platform agnostic. I am platform neutral. Whatever platform [viewers] want to watch me on is ok," as long as there is a standard to monetize that viewing.
The panel also addressed the Comcast/Time Warner's TV Everywhere initiative which aims to forge an authenticate subscribers enabling them to watch content across multiple devices.
"TV Everywhere is a business model that will work once we have measurement in place," said Wakshlag. "We need measurement from Nielsen within the next nine months to allow us to move ahead. Because there's no reason for us to put our content on TV Everywhere unless and until it gets measured. Companies like mine have all said our content will not appear on line until there's a way to monetize it. "
"It's going to be a rocky period," added Poltrack. "But we have to get the process started."