US TV changes, but those who measure audiences remain unchanged

How are television ratings calculated if ‘big data’ is not considered? The use of content on different devices changes the traditional panorama, especially in the United States. However, not everything seems to work perfectly. The mission of those who deal with overseas ratings, Nielsen in primis, changes. Or rather, it should change. The giant has had its ‘accreditation’ renewed by the Media Rating Council (MRC) with regard to the measurement of national television ratings. Immediately afterwards, however, as recalls, Nielsen announced the freezing of projects to expand the mechanism up to the inclusion of big data. In essence, you carry on with traditional measurement methods in a universe that keeps changing. The most complete reports will be available only to customers who specifically request them. In the end, however, stakeholders – particularly in the advertising sector – who hoped to have a detailed overview to guide their investments will necessarily have to review their projects.

On the one hand, therefore, Nielsen’s traditional and – in some ways – old-style approach. On the other hand, the Jic, the alliance formed by 5 broadcasters for cross-platform audience measurement, takes shape: it is the same pillars of the sector that propose a change that Nielsen does not seem to want to embrace in the short term. Fox, NbcUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision and Warner Bros. Discovery have decided to set up a Joint Industry Committee to certify more television audience certification technologies that are appropriate to the technological innovations that are changing the sector. Reading, the advertising world does not hide its discontent with Nielsen’s inaction. In the United States, it is worth remembering that there has never been a company that supplies official audience data (model widely adopted in Europe and promoted by Agcom, in which all components of the advertising market are represented) but Nielsen is was in fact the currency – that is, the official meter of TV and advertising transactions for over 40 years.