Nielsen Ratings Change Will Measure Broadband Usage


Nielsen will reportedly change its rating system to include broadband data from devices used to watch Netflix, YouTube, and other streaming services.

In response to the growing popularity and availability of online shows over the past few years, Nielsen will soon revamp its system to take this data into consideration. Gizmodo is reporting that the changes could be in place before the end of the year.

Nielsen will now look at how much time people spend viewing TV shows on consoles, tablets, and other devices. Once the information has been gathered, it will be included alongside traditional viewing data.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company is planning to install new hardware and software in nearly 23,000 participating homes.

While the first phase of this process will include iPad and some tablet usage information, the Nielsen ratings change doesn’t cover every device or gadget currently on the market. The company’s next phase will reportedly involve a more in-depth look at what people watch and what they watch it on.

Although the Nielsen will track bandwidth usage on these platforms, it won’t provide specific ratings for providers. Netflix and its competitors would be required to encode their shows specifically for the company’s system in order to track programs.

Nielsen isn’t the only company looking to update its ratings system for the modern age. Billboard also announced that it will start collecting data from YouTube as well. This will reportedly force the company to reformulate how it determines the Billboard Hot 100.

Billboard also explained that data gathered from YouTube will also contribute to the Streaming Songs chart it started last month. The company also launched the On-Demand Songs chart service last year, a ratings system that includes information from such services as Spotify, Muve Music, Rhapsody, Slacker, Rdio, and Xbox Music.

As for the Nielsen ratings change, the company everything could be in place and ready to go as early as this September.