I’ve been closely following this open war between Nielsen and its Big Media clients who are rushing to compete with the huge ratings giant. Now Broadcasting & Cable‘s Claire Atkinson has obtained an October 8th letter, penned by Nielsen president of North American media client services, inviting these same competitors to discuss TV and online ratings with the hope of achieving peace.
What Nielsen has in mind now is a single-source measurement system to include internet viewing as part of its TV sample. A client would be able to track both TV and online video viewing of an individual and receive a single figure covering both activities.
The letter describes “a special client meeting in New York City to discuss ‘TV Everywhere’, ‘OnDemand Online’ and similar initiatives and their implications for television audience measurement.” Erichson notes “these initiatives are very compatible with Nielsen’s television ratings system; that is, audiences viewing television programs online could be included in Nielsen’s national TV ratings, including C3.” The letter says the purpose of the meeting is to “discuss the work that Nielsen is doing to develop the capability to measure online video viewing in the National People Meter panel and to share our thoughts on potentially aligning that effort with these industry developments. Most importantly, the purpose of this meeting is to get your feedback and input on these plans.”
The event will take place at NYC’s Harvard Club on October 16. The 75 top clients contacted include top advertisers Procter & Gamble to media giant Time Warner to ad agencies. These are among the same 14 founding members of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) seeking to cpmete with Nielsen by forming their own ratings measurement system.