Nielsen tipped in plan to monitor subscription video viewership

Nielsen plans to start monitoring video streaming services' viewership numbers, shedding light on figures that have long been hidden from the public. Such information comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that it has viewed client documents related to the plan. The plan won't include tracking viewership habits that take place on mobile devices (for now, at least), but will use Nielsen meters to analyze audio for determining what shows are being watched on other devices. The resulting numbers could, among other things, help studios negotiating with the services.

It seems the plan will kick off next month, with the WSJ saying Nielsen will measure the viewing numbers for TV shows watched through subscription video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Because the Nielsen meters will be doing this through audio analysis, these streaming services don't have to give their blessing for the monitoring to take place.

This move is to the benefit of Nielsen's clients, which will be given insight into specifics about how their media is being consumed. Knowing this, future licensing arrangements could be better tweaked to work with viewership trends amd help ensure that traditional television viewers aren't impacted.

According to the documents viewed by the WSJ, Nielsen has so far found that traditional television viewership for October dropped 7-percent year-on-year amongst those in the 18 to 49 age range. This was contrasted with subscription-based video streaming services, which saw subscriber numbers increase to cover 40-percent of homes in September, a 6-percent increase over January.

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal