Nielsen, NetRatings launch TV/Internet fusion database in the US

MUMBAI: US media research firm Nielsen Media Research and subsidiary NetRatings have launched their TV/Internet Fusion database.

This product merges information from television and Internet panels into a single dataset, and allows television programmers and advertisers to study and capitalize on the relationship between television and Internet use.

The new service is the first deliverable being developed through Nielsen's Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative. This resource combines Nielsen's National People Meter sample of more than 30,000 respondents with NetRatings' NetView sample, which electronically tracks Internet use of approximately 29,000 panelists from homes and businesses.

The fused database uses panelist information, including age, sex, household income, household education and region of the US to link the two databases, thereby providing a picture of consumers' TV and online activities.

The National TV/Internet Fusion database serves as a springboard toward the development of a single-sample Internet/television panel. In November, Nielsen Media Research will begin a test to identify the potential impact of Internet measurement on television panel-quality metrics, installing software meters - including NetRatings' patented metering technology - on the laptops and personal computers of test homes installed with Nielsen People Meters. The company plans to fully deploy the meters during the 2007-2008 television season, assuming successful test results.

Nielsen Media Research chief research officer v says, “At a time when the importance of the Internet as an advertising vehicle continues to grow and expand with new streaming offerings, it's particularly important to understand the interaction between these two media. The National TV/Internet Fusion database is an advanced multi-platform measurement service that offers advertisers, agencies and media companies an unparalleled view of this expanding relationship; and it represents a critical element in Nielsen's commitment to measure television wherever and however it is viewed.”

NetRatings VP measurement science Mainak Mazumdar said, “The National TV/Internet Fusion database takes media measurement to a new level. As streaming content becomes ubiquitous on the Internet, the importance of a combined television and internet data set is critical for companies competing for the digital consumer.”

By reporting both national TV network viewership and web site usage in a single data set, the National TV/Internet Fusion database can provide media and advertising clients with a broad range of analysis, including:

- Assessment of Internet usage by TV audiences, including visits to media company web sites by viewers to their network.
- TV viewership by visitors to specific websites.
- Quantification of the unduplicated reach of television sources and Internet web sites.
- Segmentation of audiences to identify and target specific interest groups.
- Tracking of changing patterns of media consumption as more TV programming and other streaming content becomes available online.
- Improved measurement of the reach and frequency of combined TV/Internet campaigns.

In conjunction with the launch of the new service, the companies have produced a research report of their April 2006 fused data, based on time spent watching television and usage of more than 2,000 ad-supported web sites. Included in the key findings:

The analysis of the intersection of television and Internet quintiles reports that 40 per cent of the US 2+ population are more television-centric, 24 per cent are more Internet-centric, and 15 per cent are equally heavy users of TV and the Internet (the remaining portion of the population are light users of both media). Heavy Internet users also tend to watch more television than do light Internet users.

Broadcast and cable networks achieve higher ratings among people who visit their websites, however this relationship differs greatly by demographic and program genre. Visitors to pure-play Internet web sites tend to watch less television than average viewers.

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