Nielsen Rates DVR Impact

Nielsen launches commercial minute ratings in standardized file

May 31, 2007

2 Min Read

NEW YORK -- The Nielsen Company today began offering the first standardized ratings of television commercials, giving clients a way to measure the impact on commercial viewing of digital video recorders (DVRs) and other "time-shifting" technologies.

Until now, ratings of television programs have been used for negotiating the buying and selling of commercial time. However, because of the increasing use of DVRs and the ability of consumers to fast-forward through commercials during DVR playback, clients asked Nielsen last year to provide a closer measure of the audience for commercials, not only when programs are viewed live but when played back as well.

In response, starting today, Nielsen will offer clients a new Average Commercial Minute electronic data file that provides an average rating for the commercial minutes in each television program. This data will be available back to April 30th and will cover six "streams" of viewing data:

  • Live viewing;

  • Live viewing plus DVR playback on the same day; and

  • Live viewing plus DVR playback for one, two, three and seven days.

    All broadcast, cable and syndicated programming will be included in the new average commercial minute electronic data file, which supplements individual commercial minute ratings data already available in Nielsen's NPOWER software and its All Minute Data File. These products enable clients to look at individual minute ratings, including commercial minutes, at any interval of DVR playback ranging from one minute delayed viewing to seven days.

    "Today's launch of average commercial minute ratings culminates a year-long effort to deliver a new way of measuring television viewing," said Sara Erichson, Executive Vice President, Client Services for Nielsen Media Research. "Nielsen worked very closely with all client groups to develop this new measurement. Our clients will determine which of these data streams they want to use for negotiating the buying and selling of advertising and whether it be for the upcoming television season or the following one."


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