By Sahil Patel
Nielsen already is the standard — like it or not — when it comes to TV ratings, now it wants to have a similar command of the online video content space. The measurement firm is partnering with Adobe to deliver a digital content ratings system that covers online TV, video, and other digital content across platforms.
Nielsen Digital Content Ratings will integrate Nielsen’s digital audience measurement products with Adobe Analytics and the Adobe Primetime online-TV delivery platform. As a result, the system will be able to deliver “currency-grade content metrics” that measure audiences across every major internet-connected device, including desktops, mobile, game consoles, and other connected-TVs, the companies said.
Both companies will jointly market the new system, which already has a few major content companies and advertisers on board, including ESPN, Sony Pictures Television (including Crackle), Turner Broadcasting, Univision, Viacom, IPG Mediabrands, and Starcom MediaVest Group.
“One of the challenges in digital measurement has been the lack of alignment between site analytics and syndicated measurement data, and we will be working with Nielsen and Adobe to help resolve this,” said Artie Bulgrin, ESPN’s SVP of global research and analytics, in a statement.
“As cross-screen viewing permeates all marketing, measurement needs to encompass television, desktop personal computers, and mobile platforms, and this new relationship between Nielsen and Adobe will hopefully drive that,” added Kate Sirkin, EVP and global research director of Starcom MediaVest Group.
Digital Content Ratings, supported by certified Adobe Analytics census data, will measure all types of content, including TV shows distributed online, native digital video content, games, audio, and text. The hope is that this integration helps create a digital “currency” that’s accepted and adopted by all major buyers and sellers, allowing both sides to measure content performance across every screen.
That said, this system is primarily for TV networks distributing their shows and other video content online, as well as the few digital players that are producing original digital content but distributing it in a fashion that mirrors TV (Crackle, Hulu).
For instance, Nielsen’s measurement data will be embedded in Adobe Primetime, which is used by networks and broadcasters to deliver content online. This particular integration will give broadcasters and pay-TV service providers the ability to measure audiences and viewing behaviors across a broad set of devices, the companies said.
Then there’s this quote from Sirkin: “The partnership looks particularly interesting as a way to help measure the total viewing of a television show across digital platforms.”
Which goes to show, even when we’re talking about digital content — and solving one of the chief problems of digital content — we’re still talking about TV.
Nielsen Digital Content Ratings is expected to roll out in 2015.