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(Some) Nielsen Ratings Now Include Hulu and YouTube TV

It’s complicated, like everything Nielsen

Nielsen TV ratings now include Hulu and YouTube TV viewing — sort of.

Select tune-in from the two streaming services is currently being measured and reported through Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings metric, the company said on Tuesday. Additionally, such a qualifying view “contributes directly to C3/C7” data, Nielsen said. (C3 is an industry tool that incorporates all commercials viewed within 72 hours of a program’s original TV airing; C7 includes an entire week’s worth of catch-up.)

Nielsen will combine digital desktop, tablet and smartphone viewing of what it referred to as “eligible” live, DVR and on-demand viewing for Hulu and YouTube TV with traditional linear audience metrics.

Yes, it’s all kind of complicated. If it was simple, it wouldn’t be Nielsen. To count, the Hulu or YouTube TV stream has to include the same commercial load as the linear TV offering. “Live” viewership on both services will enter Nielsen’s Live + Same Day pool, as well as be carried into the delayed-viewing windows.

All that said, given that Hulu’s live service and the entirety of YouTube TV are still young technologies, television networks and their advertisers should not expect big bumps from this inclusion.

Launched in 2015, Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings provides a method for programmers and buyers to account for all viewers across desktop and mobile devices as long as the program content and commercials match the linear TV airing, per the ratings currency company. The capability brings together census-based data, persons demographics and the company’s panels to report audiences across national and local markets.

“The inclusion of eligible TV viewership from Hulu and YouTube TV viewership in C3 and C7 through Digital in TV Ratings is a major accomplishment in delivering Nielsen Total Audience to the marketplace,” said Megan Clarken, president of Product Leadership at Nielsen. “We are proud to be able to deliver this solution to our clients as part of our commitment to provide trusted, independent measurement of the evolving modern media landscape.”

“We built YouTube TV to bring the most popular ‘must watch’ TV to today’s video streaming audiences and we’re already seeing that live TV represents the majority of time spent watching on the service. Our network and advertising partners will benefit from Nielsen DTVR measurement of YouTube TV,” added Heather Moosnick, director of Content Partnerships for YouTube TV.

“Our goal is to make it possible for viewers to watch their favorite shows whenever and wherever they want – and be able to measure that viewership. We are pleased with Nielsen’s launch of this capability, and look forward to the new insights it enables,” said Cindy Davis, EVP Consumer Experience of Disney-ABC Television Group.