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Nielsen to Start Tracking Netflix, Online Viewing

Nov 19, 2014  •  Post A Comment

In a move that many in the television industry have been eagerly awaiting, Nielsen Media Research is about to get into measurement of streaming and online viewing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Nielsen is set to start next month measuring viewership of TV on subscription online video services such as Netflix for the first time.

While Netflix and other streaming services are now in four out of every 10 American homes, their viewership trends have remained a mystery, given that they refuse to share data and little independent research has been available.

WSJ reports: “The new measurement capability, which Nielsen meters can deliver without the assent of services like Netflix and Amazon.com ’s Prime Instant Video, will analyze the audio components of the program to identify which shows are being streamed. (Nielsen is still working on a way to measure subscription-video viewing on mobile devices, where such technology won’t work.)”

The service will help content owners learn more about how their licensed programs are performing on the streaming services. “Big media companies have been generating revenue growth by selling Netflix and Amazon streaming rights to their TV shows, but some are worried that in the long run they could hurt their viewership on traditional, ad-supported television, where they still make the vast majority of their money,” the piece notes.

Netflix and Amazon declined to comment.

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