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Nielsen Tests Tool to Track TV Everywhere

The Nielsen Co. is launching a pilot program Tuesday to measure TV viewing across multiple online properties. Initial content partners include A&E Networks, ABC Inc., AOL Inc., CBS Corp., The CW Television Network, Discovery Communications Inc., Fox Broadcasting Co., NBCUniversal LLC, and Univision. According to The Wall Street Journal, the focus of the Nielsen Digital Program Ratings pilot is primarily on website audiences. Nielsen reportedly hopes to add sites like Hulu LLC and YouTube Inc. to its partner list in the future, though there is no word yet of plans to team up with traditional cable, telecom, and satellite providers. The current pilot also does not track mobile device viewing, but Nielsen says the program will evolve in that direction. Last fall, the company formed an "Innovation Committee" with the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) specifically to further the development of its mobile Television Audience Measurement initiative (mTAM). (See Nielsen, CIMM Measure Mobile TV.) On the social front, Nielsen is also expanding the ratings frontier. The company acquired SocialGuide last November to measure online social media buzz, and it has signed an exclusive deal with Twitter Inc. to develop the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating. (See Facebook Tunes In to TV Data and Charter Plays the Rural Card in Set-Top Fight.) The new Nielsen Digital Program Ratings pilot will begin in May and run through the middle of the summer prior to a commercial launch. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

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