Nielsen to Start Counting Folks Who Watch Television on Mobile Devices

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Nielsen has long been the expert on audience demographics, the standard data provider that the entire television industry depends upon. So it behooves them to move with the times, and early this year, Nielsen announced that it would indeed be figuring out a way to count views when the audience was not using their old-timey television to catch the newest episode of Teen Wolf. We know now that they’ve found a way and will be implementing it. Eventually.

From Huffpo:

Starting next fall, Nielsen will begin counting television programs watched on mobile phones and tablets within its traditional TV ratings.

The company responsible for measuring TV viewership said Monday it will use codes embedded by networks within the programs to collect this information.

HuffPo’s article is unclear as to whether this functionality will exist in all shows watched through network apps, iTunes, etc., or just in so called Nielsen households, those equipped with that magical Nielsen box that records television viewing habits for extrapolation onto the entire television market. In their announcement earlier this year, the company said it was specifically looking to record data on viewers who watched cable television in ways other than through a cable… cable, such as through an internet connection with through game consoles or mobile devices.

Then, the announced timetable was for this fall, this new announcement pushes it back a year. Nielsen began monitoring Tivo and DVR recordings in 2005, but networks have been slow to incorporate such data into their considerations, due to pressure from advertisers who prefer to focus on the captive market that cannot skip or fast forward through commercials. Recently, Nielsen partnered with Twitter to compare most tweeted shows to highest rated shows for a given week. Interestingly, the results had very little overlap.

(top pic via Flickr.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.