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State of the Screens

Facing pressure from clients, Nielsen says it is changing how it measures television ratings

By May 21, 2018No Comments

62% of U.S. households now have a streaming TV device which is creating a challenge for traditional rating companies such as Nielsen.

Simple math. More households w/ streaming TV = more fragmentation in viewership between digital and linear TV =increasing difficulty in measuring total viewership

Quote from Bob Greenblatt — Chairman @ NBC Entertainment.
“I don’t think the broadcasting narrative should be linear versus digital anymore, but rather linear plus digital,”… “I would love to get to a point where the live, same-day rating was the proverbial dinosaur instead of the broadcast network.”

Estimated impact on ratings when non-live (35 days) of viewing is added:
1) CBS Average — ↑ 53%
2) The Big Bang Theory — ↑ 66%
3) Bull — ↑ 57%

Why is this so important? Advertisers pay networks based on the estimated rating when their ad ran. If the rating is being under-counted by 50%+, then the network is missing out on a large chunk of revenue.

Michael Beach

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.