Nielsen’s new definition is a step in the right direction

Nielsen’s new definition is a step in the right direction.
As previously noted, Nielsen’s ratings methodology is based on the foundation of “households using television.” When it was first developed, that meant watching broadcast TV only. One needs only to peruse the diaries from any market, however, to discover that viewers — the people IN the homes — are redefining the term.

Nielsen’s announcement today that it’s going to offer measurements of advertising within Video Games recognizes that redefinition and moves the company (hopefully) closer to marketplace realities. “Screen-based advertising” is the new paradigm, and I certainly applaud this important bit of acceptance. In a report on the subject, MediaDailyNews editor, Joe Mandese, takes a shot at Nielsen’s overall methodology, something that’s become quite popular these days.

While Nielsen’s conventional TV ratings system does not provide data on advertising exposure within video games (in truth, it doesn’t even provide data on advertising exposure within TV programming), the new Nielsen Video Games service is being launched to do just that, creating the data and metrics that will enable video game marketers to pitch advertisers on the value of “in-game ad exposure.” Among other things, the service will provide ad exposure, demographics and even audience recall of ad messages embedded in video games.
The new service is being managed by Nielsen Entertainment utilizing data from Nielsen Media Research.

Nielsen has huge problems stemming from the conundrum created by its business model, namely that it works for television networks and groups, not advertisers. This is under attack by disruptive innovations, which have heretofore produced an endless litany of denial from both the television industry and Nielsen. I view the idea of “screen-based advertising” as a welcome breath of fresh air that opens a door to the truth. In the end, that will serve everybody much better.

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