The Media Rating Council (MRC) has given the green light to Nielsen‘s inclusion of digital measurement in its television ratings.
The MRC accreditation of the additional capability, which Nielsen terms “Digital in TV Ratings,” accounts for linear TV viewing occurring on desktop and mobile devices for programming sources participating in the data measurement platform.
Nielsen says the MRC’s OK of Digital in TV Ratings is “the first solution” to receive accreditation from the MRC for its contribution to TV audience measurement for programming viewed on computers and mobile devices.
Digital in TV Ratings launched in 2015. It’s currently in use by such clients as ABC, CBS, ABC pay-TV network Freeform and Univision.
This is the second component of Nielsen’s Total Audience framework to gain MRC accreditation, joining Digital Ad Ratings.
The capability draws on Nielsen’s Total Audience methodology, combining census-based data, individual consumer demographics and Nielsen’s panels to report audiences across National and Local People Meter markets.
It provides a method for programmers to account for all viewers across devices — so long as the commercials are not deleted or substituted. This negates the viewing of live local TV news on a Roku via an App such as NewsOn. However, it would include live streaming of the news via an App where all local commercials are aired, such as TEGNA’s CBS affiliate WUSA-9 in Washington, D.C.
The results are combined with traditional linear audience metrics to include that viewing into the C3/C7 and local average quarter hour measurement.
Nielsen says it will continue to work with the MRC to gain accreditation for other Nielsen Total Audience solutions, such as Digital Content Ratings, and intends to seek accreditation for Total Content Ratings.
Nielsen did not comment on its non-accredited Nielsen Audio PPM markets.
“We congratulate Nielsen for meeting the rigorous requirements necessary to earn MRC accreditation for Digital in TV Ratings,” said MRC Executive Director and CEO George W. Ivie. “With this validation of its measurement of TV programming viewed on computers and mobile devices, Nielsen has taken an important step in its efforts to meet the needs of the marketplace to have a fuller view into the consumption of TV programming across platforms, regardless of how it is being consumed.”
Jed Meyer, EVP/Corporate Research at Univision Communications, noted, “We’ve seen undeniable changes in content consumption behavior and, more than ever, ensuring we have measurement capabilities in the industry to adequately capture audience digital & linear viewing is critical. Nielsen’s MRC accreditation reaffirms the importance of transparent and accountable TV ratings for digital, especially as companies like Univision serve our respective audiences whenever and wherever they choose,” said Inc.
MRC accreditation provides media buyers and sellers with an additional level of confidence as they leverage the solution to account for audiences across desktop, tablets and smartphones — in addition to TV — to most effectively distribute premium content and sell across these screens.
“With our Total Audience strategy, we are able to provide the industry with broader audience coverage and inclusion — whether it’s C3, C7 or beyond — as clients look to monetize their audiences across all screens,” said Megan Clarken, president of product leadership, Nielsen. “This independent and transparent validation of our methodology to include digital desktop and mobile viewing is another significant step toward delivering Total Audience to the marketplace, and we are very pleased to be able to say that our developments meet the level of quality and rigor that MRC accreditation represents.”
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