Nielsen speeds up roll out of online-viewership measurement tool

Responding to demands from TV networks, cable operators and ad agencies, the Nielsen Company is accelerating the roll out a single-source metering program that measures both TV and online viewing habits.

The program -- TVandPC -- currently is being tested in 375 homes; Nielsen originally planned to have it in place in all Nielsen homes by 2011. Instead, the company now says it'll start the program in more home this month and have it in all 7,500 homes no later than Aug. 31, 2010.

TV networks increasingly have called for ways to measure audience data as online viewing of streamed TV has rapidly expanded on Hulu, Amazon, iTunes and other video platforms, including mobile phones.

Nielsen held a private confab with some of its biggest customers Oct. 16 to discuss measuring and reporting online viewership of broadcast and cable TV programs. The company has invested some $1 billion in multi-screen audience measurement initiatives.

Media analysts say that for each viewer who migrates to the Internet from broadcast or cable TV, the companies lose $920 a year in ad revenue.

For more:
- see this Multichannel News article