Users are at it again:  Dissatisfaction with Nielsen TV ratings drive users into revolt and they intend to chastise and humble Nielsen with a new independent service.  Nevertheless they have thrown Nielsen a bone in the form of an invitation to participate.  Of course Nielsen’s quasi monopoly in the field of TV ratings has irked users before.  They tried to revolt in the 1990’ but Nielsen rebuffed them due to its entrenched position in US homes.  However the Internet has no respect for established business models, and forces market research companies to change.

Context News: A consortium of media giants and advertisers are challenging Nielsen with an independent user operated rating system.  Participants are networks owned by NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, CBS, Discovery and Walt Disney.  Procter & Gamble, AT&T and Unilever.  The new TV rating system is to become operational in September.

Audience measurement is considered the lifeblood of the media industry. The $70bn spent on US TV advertising each year is allocated according to viewer numbers. The explosion of online viewing has made the measuring of total audiences across all media platforms more difficult.  Source: Financial Times Lex Column

BIIA Newsletter September 2009 Issue