Roku has entered a partnership with Nielsen that will enable the audience tracker to measure streaming viewership for the first time ever.
The new arrangement — the first of its kind between Nielsen and an over-the-top platform — will give channels on Roku the option to measure their audience according to Nielsen demographics and sell advertising accordingly, mirroring Nielsen’s approach to traditional television ratings.
Channels have to opt in to the service — so heavyweights like Netflix and Amazon, which do not currently advertise against their programming, will likely stay out of the fold. But about half of Roku’s 250 most-watched streaming channels are ad-supported, the company says, including Hulu, CBS News and CBS All Access.
Measuring live and on-demand streaming, as well as the ads that currently run on those channels, will allow programmers to more accurately price their ad space and allow marketers to know exactly which viewers they’re targeting.
Whether the channels will report their viewership or ratings remains to be seen.