Over the years many on the digital side of the fence have complained about Nielsen’s reluctance to include the leading online video platforms in its ratings, especially in the US where Nielsen ratings are the common standard. Whilst online video still resides outside of the GRP ratings that continue to be the currency used for TV trading, Nielsen has announced it will begin crediting video content that is distributed on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube in Digital Content Ratings in the United States.
Put simply, Nielsen’s TV and digital publisher clients can now include any incremental viewing of their content within their reported audience numbers. For example, a publisher will be able to receive credit for video distributed on Facebook and YouTube in Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings. Advertisers can then also use this data to make more informed buying decisions.
Nielsen will provide content owners and distributors with the same visibility to data for all distributed video content. Providing a consistent and transparent view ensures a level playing field with access to the same information across both publishers and platforms.
Commenting on the announcement, Edwin Wong, VP of Research and Insights at BuzzFeed, said in a statment, “BuzzFeed is a distributed network publishing engaging, shareable content and adapting it to the platforms where our audience lives. Much of our content is being missed by traditional measurement tools and Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings allow us to count content views and viewers across our owned and operated properties as well as Facebook and YouTube. With this new tool at our disposal we are able to have a clearer view of BuzzFeed’s true reach. Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings are necessary for accurate audience measurement in today’s digital universe.”
“It’s critical to have access to accurate ratings data across channels to enhance plan efficiency and inform our investment decisions on behalf of clients,” said Michele Donati, SVP, Managing Director, WHERE at Horizon Media, a leading US agency. “Nielsen incorporating crediting of distributed content across Hulu, Facebook and YouTube into its Digital Content Ratings is an important first step in helping to provide our clients with more complete communications planning and activation resources that are more reflective of the digital ecosystem that consumers navigate each day.”
Bart Boughton, SVP, Revenue Operations at publisher Refinery29, pointed out that the new data would help publishers understand more about what their audiences behave across all of the various touch-points. “At Refinery29 we are constantly speaking to our global audience of young women across myriad platforms. In order to reach this audience in a way that integrates with her lifestyle, we create unique content native to each platform. Having the ability to quantify this engagement is critical. Using Nielsen Digital Content Ratings will not only further benefit our understanding of where our audience spends time, but also allows us to share this important information with our partners.”