Nielsen changing Total Audience Measurement product after pressure from NBCU, Fox

Nielsen is revising the methodology of its upcoming Total Audience Measurement product in response to concerns from broadcasters.

After hearing concerns from broadcasters including NBC about its upcoming Total Audience Measurement product, Nielsen is taking steps to revise the new tool’s methodology.

According to Variety, Nielsen met with executives at NBCUniversal and Fox near the end of 2016 to discuss potential problems with the new product.

“At the behest of our television network clients, we have modified the way in which we will be sharing data during the agency evaluation period, which begins in January,” Nielsen said in a statement obtained by Variety. “We will be making certain reports available to agencies based on our clients and where they are in terms of implementation. These reports will evolve as more clients come online. This will allow media clients to customize the data they wish to share, whether it be to focus on particular platforms, programs or demographics. This decision is not based on any methodological issues, but rather, client readiness and their need to further evaluate data.”


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RELATED: Nielsen's troubles mount as NBCU takes shot at its new measurement product

Word of Nielsen’s revamping of Total Audience Measurement comes after reports surfaced last month alleging that NBCU had sent a letter to Nielsen outlining its concerns with the new product.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales at NBCUniversal, expressed “deep concerns” over what she called an “incomplete and inconsistent” Total Content Ratings product. She pointed toward the product’s limited involvement from pay-TV operators and incomplete OTT measurement, which currently excludes services like Hulu, which is part-owned by NBC.

The report said that Viacom is also concerned about the product.

While the TV industry has been critical of aspects of the new ratings system, Nielsen had defended its new products. The company also pointed out to Variety that certain portions of Total Audience Measurement are already up and running.

“It is important to note that other aspects of the Total Audience framework including Digital Content Ratings, Total Ad Ratings, Out of Home, C3 data and OTT data are already in active use by our clients,” the company told Variety.

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