Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Nielsen could shatter success of TV commercials!

Nielsen could soon shatter the success of TV commercials and as a result put another revenue drag on already struggling traditional media companies. Nielsen has announced plans for the first time ever to rate the success of TV commercials - starting in the US this Fall.

The new ratings will be gathered the same way Nielsen compiles its existing TV ratings. The firm will use set-top monitors in 10,000 Nielsen homes, checking viewers' TVs several times per minute to determine what show is on. The monitors record whether viewers are changing the channel during a commercial break or zapping through the break with a DVR.

As for visits to the fridge or bathroom (or presumably both - preferably not at the same time), Nielsen viewers are supposed to use another device to record when they leave a room in which a set is playing. The system isn't foolproof, but Nielsen says the company believes more than 90% of its viewers comply with this rule.

Proving that viewers will do almost anything for a few extra bucks. As long as they don't confuse the device with toilet paper I guess all's OK!

On a more serious note, the Nielsen commercials ratings are almost guaranteed to trigger another wave of shifting ad dollars to the Internet and more measurable/pay as you go mechanisms. TV networks in turn will be forced to embrace Internet TV and digital interactivity ever more rapidly. Poor luvvies!

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