Nielsen launches SDK to shine light on second screen viewing

The second screen may not be a common household fixture yet, but Nielsen is doing its best to measure it. Nielsen has announced an SDK to track second screen engagement to better detail who watches content on tablets and smartphones.

Nielsen’s mobile-streaming measurement SDK has been in the works for some time, and the company is in the process of patenting technology that allows the software to analyze viewership with audio watermarks. It’s a similar, more digital approach to the traditional Nielsen meter, which measures audio codes from the television. That data will then be combined with credentials from Facebook and other social media platforms to give a clear picture of demographics during the viewing process. The program is slated to begin with the Fall 2014 TV season.

As the second screen has emerged, networks have been trying to figure out how to capitalize on it with exclusive content and full-episode availability. While Twitter is rapidly positioning itself as the steward to bridging live TV and the second screen during primetime, it’s likely that Nielsen’s SDK will be able to more accurately gauge how many people watch full episodes or extended clips (filed under Nielsen’s Digital Ratings) on their own time.

The SDK will be available for implementation starting in mid-November.