July 13, 2024

Now TV Wants Nielsen to Measure Up

David Kenny, Nielsen’s chief executive, has admitted to mistakes while also pushing back against some of the criticism. In September, he posted an open letter to the television industry on the Nielsen website, noting the company’s “need to move faster in advancing our measurement because the audience itself is moving faster.”

He added that Nielsen had been “slow to explain how the health and safety-related measures” it took during the pandemic caused it to undercount audiences. Rising vaccination rates had since allowed Nielsen to overcome the problem, he said.

Many of Nielsen’s critics work at companies that rely on commercials for revenue — that is, entertainment powerhouses in the business of network and cable TV when many viewers are cutting the cord and paying for subscriptions to Netflix and other platforms without ads.

“There are always challenges when there are big technological changes in media,” Mr. Kenny said in an interview this week. “Any big change every 10 years or so is going to result in some noise. That comes with the territory and, I think, is what’s happening now.

“There are a lot of players here who we’re working with,” he continued, “and I think we’re trying not to lean into the drama and just do a good job.”

Mr. Kenny said he was skeptical that the big media companies, longtime Nielsen clients, would “start over with something completely different.” On Oct. 28, when Nielsen announced its third-quarter earnings, it beat Wall Street forecasts and reported a 3.9 percent increase from a year earlier in revenue from audience measurement clients.

At the end of next year, Nielsen plans to start offering a measurement system called Nielsen ONE, which it said would evaluate traditional TV, streaming platforms and digital services. This summer, the company introduced the Gauge, a metric to compare streaming viewership with cable and broadcast channels.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/business/media/nbcuniversal-nielsen-tv-alternatives.html

Speak Your Mind