- Nielsen announced in a press release that live viewing on streaming services Hulu and YouTube TV will now be measured and reported alongside network television ratings.
- With this move, the company aims to provide more comprehensive and transparent viewer data across desktop, tablets and smartphones to both TV networks and advertisers. The new measurements add to Nielsen's standard rating metrics for TV network viewership — the C3 and C7. Nielsen's ratings already include digital streaming providers like Sling TV, Sony's PlayStation View and "CBS All Access," according to The Wall Street Journal.
- Nielsen's Digital in TV Ratings measurement launched in 2015 as a way for TV programmers and buyers to account for viewers of linear TV views across several devices as long as the program content and commercials match the linear TV airing.
The move from Nielsen is the latest acknowledgment of shifting viewer habits away from traditional TV and toward digital streaming alternatives including over-the-top (OTT) services like Hulu and Netflix and "skinny bundles" from cable providers and Google's YouTube. Sixty-three percent of broadband-enabled households now have at least one streaming subscription, according to research from Parks Associates, and even social media platforms like Snapchat and Facebook are getting into TV-like original programming.
As the space becomes both more fractured and crowded, Nielsen aims to provide clearer cross-platform measurement data for buyers to better understand the full scope of where, when and how frequently their ads are viewed. All that being said, traditional TV is still a strong channel to reach a wide network of consumers, despite the trend toward cord-cutting.
A recent report from the Video Advertising Bureau found that advertisers believe 32% of viewers watch content on live or recorded TV, while Nielsen's figures for viewers 18-years-old and up shows 82% are engaged in traditional TV viewing. Major advertisers including Procter & Gamble also appear to be recommitting to TV as a safer bet compared to digital channels, which are cited as being non-transparent, non-standardized and overly-complicated.