Nielsen today announced that virtual MVPD YouTube TV has been added to the company’s local audience ratings so that viewing of the service in designated market areas can be counted.
Nielsen measures local viewing based on 210 DMA regions across the U.S. and will use its Digital in TV Ratings (DTVR) to include YouTube TV.
“Local broadcasters have been eagerly anticipating the inclusion of YouTube TV into Nielsen currency measurement,” said Jeff Wender, managing director of Nielsen Local, said in a statement. “We’re excited to be able to help local media buyers and sellers capture digital audiences, as well as provide advertisers a full account of all viewing activity, irrespective of distribution channel.”
The addition of YouTube TV to local broadcasting metrics comes after a decision Nielsen made last year to incorporate digital viewing of eligible live, DVR and on-demand TV on Hulu's live service and YouTube TV with traditional linear national audience metrics.
"The inclusion of eligible TV viewership from Hulu and YouTube TV viewership in C3 and C7 through Digital in TV Ratings is a major accomplishment in delivering Nielsen Total Audience to the marketplace," said Megan Clarken, president of product leadership at Nielsen, in a statement. "We are proud to be able to deliver this solution to our clients as part of our commitment to provide trusted, independent measurement of the evolving modern media landscape."
As YouTube TV has grown—Business Insider estimated earlier this year that the service had around 300,000 customers—so too have the operational losses for parent company Google. Bernstein Research Analyst Todd Juenger estimated that, if YouTube TV has roughly 1 million subscribers, then Google is losing $5 per subscriber or $60 million total each year due to programming costs.
He speculated that instead of raising prices or depending on ad sales, YouTube TV might get closer to profitability by launching its own network, one with significant sports rights where YouTube TV could control 100% of the ad inventory.