Nielsen to launch VoD measurement service in US on 11 December

MUMBAI: Nielsen Media Research in the United States has announced that it will launch a new service to measure nationally distributed Video On Demand (VoD) content on 11 December. This service will use the same National People Meter sample it uses to provide television ratings to national programmers.

As with Nielsen's current ratings, clients will receive household and demographic ratings for VoD content along with other detailed audience information. By measuring VoD content in its national ratings panel, Nielsen will enable clients to compare the performance of programs airing on traditional channels with the performance of those same programs on demand, informs an official release.

Nielsen will be able to provide VoD reporting to clients who implement "watermarking," or audio code, technology that identifies specific on-demand titles. Working in conjunction with clients, Nielsen has developed the encoding tools to uniquely "watermark" VoD content so that Nielsen's newly deployed Active/Passive meter can accurately identify on-demand viewing sessions.

Nielsen's launch of VoD measurement ushers in a new level of reporting for all types of video on demand programming, including titles from the libraries of content providers and recently telecast programs shown again via VoD.
New broadcast and cable network programming that is played back via VoD is already included in Nielsen's time-shifted viewing ratings, but only if the programming content and advertising is the same as is in the original live telecast, adds the release.

"Because Video On Demand is a growing business and a potentially valuable new revenue stream for programmers, it is increasingly important for them to understand who is watching their shows and to be able to compare the viewing that is being done via traditional television and VoD," said Nielsen senior vice president Scott L Brown. "With this launch, we continue to 'follow the video' wherever it is broadcast, while fulfilling a commitment we made to clients who told us last year that VoD measurement was a major priority for them. Nielsen will be working with clients to make sure they install our watermarking technology so we can identify both their library content and their new, recently presented programs shown via VoD."

The release also states that Nielsen's new watermarking process involves new software that embeds content identification information in the audio of the VoD program. This software has been tested by a number of clients over the course of several months and is now ready for use. Once a client installs the watermarking software, Nielsen can identify the programs it wishes to track through the VoD process, and the VoD programs viewed in sample households can be credited accordingly.

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