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Nielsen: Goodbye Traditional, Hello Digital

Nielsen is the big dog of traditional TV behaviors and it is more important than ever to understand what people are watching and what they’re watching on. That is what Nielsen does, they measure more than 40% of the worlds viewing behavior in more than 100 countries. It is not hard to see that our television viewing habits are changing. With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube fewer people are watching traditional TV. Nielsen needed to discover how to stay relevant since their commercial ratings make up the currency for ad buyers and sellers, and they did just that.

Networks will now be able to take back some of the viewings that have shifted from traditional to YouTube and Hulu. Nielsen is adding Hulu and YouTube to their TV ratings. These platforms will be measured using C3 and C7 metrics. C3 refers to the ratings for average commercial minutes in live programming plus total payback by digital video recorder out to three days after the initial program airs. C7 refers to ratings for live plus the next 7 days. It is expected that the immediate lift of these measurements will be minimal.Nielsen

The reason that these measurements are expected to be minimal, at least for now, is because ads shown on Hulu or YouTube will only be counted if they are identical ads to the ones shown on live TV. Also, because, Hulu offers on demand and runs much less advertising when people watch this way. YouTube also shows ads varyingly between live and on-demand, affecting the total gross rating points for C3 and C7 totals. This is truly a significant transition for Nielsen. This is the first time digital native platforms are mixing with traditional TV ratings. As internet delivered TV becomes a bigger part of TV consumption, this will increase in importance.

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