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Web Redefines TV Viewer Ratings July 23, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, News.

The business of web metrics continues to grow more complicated as accountability becomes the prime concern of marketers who are pouring billions of dollars into online advertising.

With US$70 billion in total TV spending at stake, American networks are busily trying to prove that their audience numbers haven’t dwindled – they’ve just splintered into other viewing venues such as DVRs, streaming video and video iPods.

Advertisers, on the other hand, argue the issue isn’t where audiences are watching but how. Networks want to add bigger numbers, but advertisers want more than just an eyeball count, according to Advertising Age. Mobile and online venues are different environments for consumer advertising, where audiences behave differently.

What’s important is not how many people watch, but how those audiences recall and interact with the ads. That hasn’t stopped NBC, CBS and others from counting the eyeballs wherever they are. It is, of course, in the networks’ best interest to follow the money. Until a neutral third party is able to come up with standardized methods, data from individual media outlets will have to suffice.

Nielsen/NetRatings’ introduction of yet another web audience measurement metric – total minutes -brings new complications. The total minutes measurement also upends rankings among the largest web portals – pushing AOL to No. 1 in a field where it is usually ranked third or lower by other major metric formats.

Watch Video: Web Audience Metrics Get Complicated

Where consumers watch:

On the boob tube
About 93% of audiences prefer the old-fashioned way, on a chair or couch in front of the ubiquitous appliance, according to Nielsen Media Research.

On iPods
Nielsen surveys reveal consumers spend an average of 45 minutes a day listening to music on the devices but only three or four minutes watching video. Most of it tends to be stuff passed along by friends, not professional-quality dramas and comedies.

On the web
Many viewers use the internet for “snacking,” or reviewing particular segments of a show. For many, the web is more of a backup that viewers use to fill in for what they missed or want to rewatch. Not necessarily the best environment for an important new campaign.

On the mobile phone
Gambling on this in the short term is dicey. A lot of marketers are spending money hoping to hit a jackpot, but nobody really knows if the jackpot is large enough to warrant the money they are spending.


1. Seb - July 23, 2007

Product placement in online-video seems like a nice way to reach comsumers. Brandfame – http://www.brandfame.com – is a nice website to connect with producers of online video to get product placement deals.

2. khengze - July 24, 2007

Thanks for the link Seb. I shall add your blog to my feeds.

3. Tuesday 7-24 links | News Videographer - July 24, 2007

[…] I’ve seen many posts recently about Nielsen’s new web metrics. This one puts the metrics in context from the TV advertiser’s perspective. […]

4. khengze - July 25, 2007

Rich Internet applications have rendered page view metrics less accurate. In an “Attention Economy,” duration is certainly a bigger deal than eyeballs. The total minutes metric provides a common denominator for user behavior that is independent of site design.

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