News by Andrew Kameka on Monday October 28, 2013.
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Nielsen, the research company that tracks consumer habits and is best known for its TV rating systems, has announced that mobile devices will now factor into its television measurements. Nielsen today announced an SDK that networks will be able to integrate into their apps in order to support more accurate viewership numbers. The viewership will not count towards official measurements until next year when the 2014-2015 season gets underway in the fall, but the development kit will be released next month in order to give companies time to integrate into their apps and services.
Television companies have been resistant to offering their video content on mobile devices because of fears that it might hobble the far more lucrative delivery method that has served the networks well for years. Networks earn more money from advertisers by having strong Nielsen ratings, which are currently measured through traditional TV viewing and viewer surveys, so supporting easy access through DVR, smartphones, tablets, and the web have not been on their priority list.
The new Nielsen SDK can now be used to encourage networks to develop apps that deliver TV shows to more devices and sooner than they have in the past. Nielsen ratings are the driving force behind most decisions, so having a more reliable way to account for how many people in the US watch a particular show might make it easier to encourage CBS or Viacom to make its mobile apps play How I Met Your Mother or Colbert Report on mobile devices in a more timely manner. It could also open up support on other digital apps not made by networks, like Aereo or Hulu, if those companies chose to participate. Nielsen is the driving force behind many network decisions, so the SDK's inclusion of "new screen" data might even make the difference between a show being canceled or added to a full-season line-up next year.source: Nielsen, via: Techcrunch
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.