Nielsen TV Panels To Include Online Shows; A ‘First Step’ To Measuring All Video Watching

The Nielsen Company will begin measuring TV viewing on the PC as part of its TV ratings panel by the end of this year, AdAge reported. The company is describing the move as a first step toward plans to make internet audience measurement a permanent part of its TV ratings.

Nielsen floated these ambitions to clients last summer as part of its A2/M2 (Anytime/Anywhere) integrated measurement program, which is still being tested.

Nielsen’s measurement goals are not only focused online. It hopes to count what users are watching on portable devices, including mobile phones and iPods, within the next few years. In a recent client letter, Nielsen said it asked its TV panelists if they would be willing to have meters installed on their computers. Out of 98 eligible households, 44 said they would allow Nielsen to hook meters up to their PCs. The ones who didn’t said that they were concerned that their computer habits might reveal more personal information about them than their TV viewing would. While Nielsen will have to find some way to deal with that issue, it has other video measurement options, such as its VideoCensus service, which launched last May.