Media industry wakes up – Measurement Shift in Play

This week, w/o 5/13/2013, as we all know the “Up-Fronts” were played out in NYC.

There was A LOT of buzz around new shows, but also additional digital partnering. In other words, the networks were not going to go deaf and blind about the shifts in viewing and their ability to offer their programming on many platforms….even though the market’s not really there yet or will be for a few more years.

What was interesting was Variety’s take on all the activity from mobile apps, to VOD engines, InternetTV, tweats and Vines. Yes, this was Hollywood’s Variety Magazine:

However, there was one area in particular in their coverage, right at the top of the list, that was very interesting and that was on measurement, or “understanding” in how video/media is being consumed….and I quote:

‘ Pilot Scorecard: Track TV Orders in Real-Time

The ABC and Nielsen test will run a pilot over the summer through September.

If the duo can show the pilot works—and accurately measures ads and audience makeup across mobile, Web and TV screens—it would solve a burning issue for the industry. TV nets have been loath to make content available on multiple platforms without a standard way to track ads.

“An increasing amount of our digital video viewing comes from apps on mobile devices, so the ability to understand who sees ads is crucial for our business,” ABC sales prexy Geri Wang said in announcing the Nielsen partnership.’

Wow! Really! Nielsen’s staking a claim again without really much ability. Creating smoke. Working to try and dissuade others from even trying.

Due to new ACR/RPD TV screen specific advancements there is tremendous opportunity for key players in the category of measurement: KANTAR, RENTRAK, TIVO/TRA and ComScore for example to now be directly competitive to Nielsen. This is no small task and I dare not say what everyone’s thinking; this is a …….. killer. But’s it very real this time around.

Point: Nielsen actually has the inability to capture real-time data. Thier new system simply has challenges even doing it. ie. their new system does create electronic diaries from each viewer in the homes behavior, the information can only be “accessed” via an on-line portal, the information is not streamed. It is collected and then fed. Additionally these eDiaries are in select homes in very small numbers.

Consequently the measurement will be based on Nielsen age old model of extrapolating information and predicting usage. Not actual, live market viewer activity and usage.

This week the media market has come to realize that they need exact information on how viewers are watching television programming/content and from what platforms those programs are coming from.

It will be a horse race in building new models to offer new thinking and currency. Nielsen knows it and so does the industry.