Nielsen’s national and local TV ratings will start to include the set top box data from one of the best TV distributors of America, AT&T. This is made possible as the result of a multiyear agreement that both the companies made recently. The companies said that the information will be “anonymized.” This means that the information will be used to identify the characteristics of the subscribers, but not their identities and other details.
Nielsen will be able to offer “enriched, electronic measurement in all 210 local TV markets,” after adding data about DirecTV and U-Verse viewers. It will be “incorporated with data from other data providers to complement Nielsen’s national and local suite of products, such as Nielsen Scarborough, NLTV and Nielsen N-Score.”
Set top box data are very much helpful in the small markets, as the sample sizes for the Nielsen’s surveys in the small markets are too small, and it will not offer the advertisers a clear idea of the popular niches that the viewers usually watch. The integration of the set top box data with the information on viewing from the surveys “is at the center of our TV measurement strategy to enhance how TV viewing is measured,” said Megan Clarken, who is the Nielsen Product Leadership President.
The viewer data will help Nielsen to offer their clients “comprehensive, reliable and in-depth measurement of how people consume content in today’s changing media landscape.” The announcement comes as Nielsen is planning to roll out their Total Audience Ratings, which will include digital and out of home viewing details together with the traditional in home viewer details.
In the month of April, Nielsen made a similar deal with Dish Network to use their set top box data and we all know that Dish Network is the closest competitor of DirecTV. Even though Nielsen has a good grip on the national television business, ComScore, who has bought Rentrak previous year, has said that their access to the set top box data offer a competitive advantage for the advertisers and broadcasters who are trying to increase their local sales.