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The Takeaway: Nielsen Launches New TV Measurement Solutions

2 MINUTE READ | July 1, 2022

The Takeaway: Nielsen Launches New TV Measurement Solutions

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Sarah Elizondo

Sarah Elizondo has written this article. More details coming soon.

To help marketers and media companies better understand TV viewership trends, Nielsen’s media data subsidiary Gracenote recently unveiled new tools to measure programming characteristics like “bingeability,” “loyalty,” and “program similarity.” As Nielsen aims to improve the accuracy of its TV ratings system, these datasets and tools are meant to “quantify a program’s ‘bingeability,’ along with a show’s propensity to keep viewers coming back for more episodes down the line,” according to Gizmodo. Referred to as the Gracenote Distribution Dynamics and Gracenote Program Availability Archive, stakeholders are better able to understand program release scheduling and viewership trends to enable “whitespace analysis capabilities and comparisons between content catalogs.” 

With significant investments going into streaming TV content, greater insight is needed to inform decision-making and guide content monetization efforts. According to TVTech, Nielsen noted that “streaming services and networks can leverage this information to optimize slate management through visibility into what content is better suited for viewer acquisition versus viewer retention, or what types of programming better resonates with certain audiences. Media companies and studios can solve content distribution challenges by understanding what programming to create or license to maximize viewership. Studios, streaming services, and networks can answer content development questions by identifying underserved viewership segments.”

These new tools will measure:

  • Bingeability: Measures the average number of TV show episodes watched per day to quantify viewer propensity to consume multiple episodes in a row.

  • Loyalty: Captures the number of minutes and percentages of available content viewed per month to highlight viewer likeliness to stick with a program.

  • Program Similarity: Identifies programs that are similar based on lookalike thematic characteristics, viewing audiences, and historical performance. 

While these metrics won’t directly translate into performance data for marketers, they will help TV networks better optimize their programming, identify shows with rising popularity, and provide insight into current and new audiences and their behavior, which in turn, can inform viewer acquisition and media investment strategies for both TV networks and marketers down the line. 

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Nielsen’s industry accreditation by the Media Rating Council (MRC) was suspended in late 2021 after it was determined that the company underestimated traditional TV audiences, and since then, Nielsen is said to be “actively working with the MRC and MRC-sanctioned auditors” on the matter. As Nielsen seeks reaccreditation to regain its position as a global market leader in TV measurement, a major technological transition is underway at the measurement firm, with more updates like this one on the horizon in the months to come.

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