Friday, April 25, 2008

Nielsen to report ratings for digital signage networks

From the MediaPost Digital Out-of-Home Forum in New York comes news that Nielsen, "plans to introduce TV ratings 'pocketpieces' for a variety of place-based television networks." Pocketpieces, which sound like they should be similar to Arbitron's PPM system, are in fact just small reports (i.e. they'd fit in your pocket), that are published weekly in the print and TV biz, but would probably start out as monthlies for digital signage.

Interestingly, the reports will be published on a per-network basis, squashing any early hopes for an authoritative, consolidated perspective for the industry, but that's certainly on the table if the various pocketpieces gain some traction. The article notes that, "t
he first of the pocketpieces--one for health club video network IdeaCast--would be released in the next 'two to three weeks,' and that another for Gas Station TV would follow shortly after. By September, he said Nielsen would be publishing pocketpieces for as many as 10 place-based television networks."

Readers hoping for a Nielsen-certified approach for handling the measurement of the media may also be disappointed to learn that:
Unlike television and online--where Nielsen manages big consumer panels to measure those media's audience estimates--Lindstrom said the place-based media network reports would reply primarily on compiling and modeling third-party data, such as membership data from health clubs, or transaction data at retail outlets of gas station pumps. He said this would be coupled with primary Nielsen research conducted by telephone that would ascribe demographics and other important information to the gross audience estimates. The method is similar to what Nielsen has been utilizing for the cinema advertising industry for several years, and the advent of Nielsen pocketpieces has helped that medium grow its share of advertising budgets.
So the news is good, but not as good as it could have been. However, where there's money, there's services -- it's one of those laws of the free-market economy. Thus, Nielsen can use the relatively low-cost, low-investment pocketpieces not only to make some quick money up-front, but to also gauge the industry to see if it's ready and willing to buy some higher-end services.

Anybody want to venture a guess as to which other digital signage networks will be honored with Nielsen coverage in the next 12 months or so? Will aggregators like See-Saw ever be able to convince them that their heterogeneous "meta-network" can/should be tracked as a single entity? So many questions....

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Retail Media Exec said...

Nielsen will meaure all of the narrowcast networks, if they are willing to pay.

Bill Gerba said...

Certainly true. But I suspect the cost would come down with customer (advertiser) demand.

Anonymous said...

the writer here refers to Nielsen having 10 place-based networks in line to have these "pocketpieces" within the next couple of months. Other than IdeaCast and Gas Station TV, what other networks are slated to have these devices installed?