Nielsen Plans to Measure Viewer Engagement

Mar 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday it plans to go beyond audience measurement and look for metrics for viewer engagement with television programs and commercials. The announcement was made during its National Client Meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Nielsen said it will ask viewers in People Meter households at the end of their two-month stretch to stay on for an extra month to participate in its engagement project. During that month those viewers will not be counted in the ratings sample but will participate in phone surveys to determine their recall of what they watch and their awareness and attitudes toward the brands and products advertised. The results will be evaluated to identify meaningful measures of how engagement can be reported for television, Nielsen said.

“Engagement is one of the most important and challenging issues facing our clients and one of the most talked about concepts in the industry today,” said Sara Erichson, general manager of national services for Nielsen. “Everyone wants to better understand how effectively messages are received and how program environment impacts the process. This project will provide new insights into the critical links between the programs and commercials.”

Nielsen also told clients attending the meeting that it will provide $2.5 million to fund a second year of the Council for Research Excellence, an independent entity funded by Nielsen that looks at research issues. Nielsen also provided $2.5 million to the Council for Research Excellence last year.