Nielsen urges industry to ‘total it up,’ focus on Internet, mobile viewers

Just a few days after buying data management tech platform eXelate for a reported $200 million and entry into programmatic ad tech, Nielsen is rolling out an ad campaign that calls on the media industry to “evolve the ratings to include every view on every screen.”

Nielsen has been criticized for its viewer-counting technology that misses many mobile and digital viewers.

TV execs, brands and agencies have been frustrated by Nielsen’s inability to track non-traditional viewers who use Internet-connected devices or who consume video outside the home – and away from the TV set.

The new ad push may indicate the company finally is listening to its increasingly anxious customers, or at least is more open to discussion.

Nielsen’s new “Total It Up” video says “Video is as popular as ever, let’s make it all count. Let’s count the binge-watchers, the cord-cutters, the on-the-go multi-taskers… Let’s tally the total audience; let’s evolve the ratings to evolve every view on every screen. Let’s total it up.”

Amen, brother.

On its “Total it up” landing page, Nielsen points outthat its”gearing up to measure viewing on connected devices, including SVOD content,” pointing out that “it doesn’t add up yet because today’s industry standards don’t count the total audience in the ratings.”

“We are dependent on the industry to achieve total audience measurement,” a Nielsen spokesman told Ad Age. “We can’t do this alone and we are hoping this will open up a dialog.”

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn