Nielsen adds Web-Enabled Devices to TV Tracking

Nielsen adds Web-Enabled Devices to TV Tracking

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Nielsen, media research company not recently deceased comic genius (RIP L.N), have changed a bit of their TV statistics tracking with changes to Internet-ready TVs. Basically, they now acknowledge their existence. Welcome to the 21st century Nielsen!As of the last week of November, according to an alert the company put out, they have begun to include Internet-enabled TVs in their ratings samples which should begin to evolve those ratings and perhaps create the need for new ways to meter usage of those TVs to be broken down by source of content being watched.

How Nielsen will Deal with Web-enabled TV

Up until the week of November 29th, they didn’t know what to do with them and so simply ignored it all, like an Ostrich sticking their head in the sand, no? They had them classified as  “technically difficult” which some might label me from time to time.

Now, due to the expected explosion of uptake on Internet-ready and Widget-y TVs (long live the Widgets!) this holiday, Nielsen has realized they need to do something, and so they have done. This is usually when they make adjustments to their services anyway because it’s a time of widespread adoption of new technology in a general sense.

Now, they have set some limitations:

  • When used for Internet-only content, without audio, it won’t be included in TV usage stats.
  • Online video usage could seep into TV usage but will be classified as All Other Tuning (AOT) whenever possible (excluding it from standard TV usage)

To keep up with the changes they’re also going to implement some record keeping (periodically) on HUT (Households Using Television) vs AOT. That could give a clear view of any shifts in standard TV viewing versus Internet-TV viewing on those devices which would be rather useful I think

There are some set-top boxes that will still be including Verizon FiOS users, that will still be noted as TV users. It seems they’re going to need far more complicated tracking to deal with all the set-top box options that are becoming available. They are working with manufacturers though so that they can eventually track differences in Internet-based video versus standard broadcast or cable.

Good luck to them! I look forward to seeing their first report with the new up-to-date stuff in it and hope they don’t forget to send it over to me.


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