Nielsen’s Net Gain

Nov 8, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Ever since “multiplatform” became an unavoidable buzzword, marketers have been seeking ways to analyze how their TV commercials and Internet advertising interact.
Last week, Nielsen Media Research and Nielsen//NetRatings showed off a new database that combines information from the 30,000 households in the Nielsen national people meter television sample and NetRatings’ NetView panel of about 27,000 respondents.
They said the linked database, called fusion, can match data at the respondent level for all TV viewing and more than 2,000 advertising supported web sites. The fusion database allows advertisers to look at multiplatform campaigns and calculate the traditional dimensions of reach and frequency for the combined media.
In an executive summary explaining some of what the fusion data offer, Nielsen looked at two campaigns. One bought the bulk of its gross rating points on TV; the other bought the bulk of its rating points on the Web.
While the second campaign had considerably more reach online, both campaigns finished with similar reach (77 percent for TV versus 76 percent for the Internet) and frequencies (8.1 for television versus 8.5 for the Internet) when the overall campaigns were analyzed. These kinds of mixed media schedule analyses bring detailed evaluation of the contributions of television and Internet to a campaign, Nielsen said.
While the households examined in the TV and Internet panels are not the same, Nielsen said it uses a statistical matching process to link similar households in the two samples. “The linking variables are good predictors of TV and Internet behavior and the fusion algorithm ensures that the relative importance of each in predicting behavior is reflected in the matching of the two,” the executive summary said.
Using the respondent-level data from the two databases allows research to assess the Internet usage of television audiences, including visits to media company sites by viewers of their networks. They can check the TV viewership patterns of users of specific Web sites.
The data can allow media companies to calculate the unduplicated reach of the combined users of the television and Internet properties, while marketers can optimize reach and frequency of campaigns that combine television and the Internet.
The finding from the initial fused database found that among the sample homes with Internet access, people who are heavy Internet uses also tend to be heavy TV viewers. At the same time, light Internet users tend to be the lighter television viewers. The results were similar for adults 18 to 49.
Interestingly, light TV users have higher Internet use at work than do heavy viewers. Nielsen said this reflects people’s ability to view because 10 percent of adults are not working, compared with 19 percent of heavy TV users.
The analysis of the data found that the average network had 8 percent lower ratings among Internet users compared with ratings among general viewers. But the impact was not consistent from network to network. Six networks’ ratings were at least 10 percent higher among Internet users, while 20 other networks showed 20 percent lower ratings among online denizens.
But users of a network’s own Web site are more likely to be watching. The average broadcast network showed 9 percent higher ratings for adults 18 to 49 among visitors to its Web site. The average cable news channel showed 78 percent higher adult 25 to 54 ratings among visitors to its site. For kids channels, the increase was 39 percent in children 2 to 11 ratings, and the average cable entertainment channel showed 31 percent higher women 18 to 49 ratings among visitors to its Web site.
Nielsen has been trumpeting its Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement Initiative and said the new fusion panel was the first product to deliver the fruits to clients.
This month Nielsen plans to begin a test to identify the potential impact of Internet for using metering technology on laptops and personal computers in homes already containing Nielsen People Meters. If the test is successful, the company plans to deploy the computer meters during the 2007-08 TV season. Putting both TV and computer meters in the same households would further meld the media measurement.
This article is part of TVWeek.com’s Media Planner newsletter, a weekly source of breaking news, trend articles, profiles and data about media planning edited by Senior Editor Jon Lafayette.


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