by Dave Zornow
New York, July 7 — Nielsen has announced organizational changes which will give set top box data greater visibility in the ratings company. In addition to announcing STB analyses from Charter systems in St. Louis, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Reno, Nielsen told clients about organizational changes designed to integrate STB data “formally within our existing audience measurement product leadership teams.”
The letter to Nielsen’s clients also announced that Matt O’Grady will be responsible for testing and incorporating STB data into Nielsen’s national and multi-platform products. Cheryl Idell will have integration responsibilities for local products.
Kantar (formerly TNS Media Research), Rentrak and TiVo have existing products and client bases already using these data. Rentrack’s Station Essentials product, using AT&T and Dish Network data, has been adding clients to its sec-by-sec no-demographics alternative to traditional NSI local market data. It’s not clear from the announcement if Nielsen is upping the ante or if they are just publicizing previous efforts.
The July 7 announcement was nuanced so as not to discredit the current local and national TV measurement services which serve all DMAs with a combination of people meters, household meters and paper diaries. “While STB data is incomplete on its own, we believe combining the stability and granularity afforded by this data with the representative quality of our panels will provide enhanced capabilities, analytics and insight,” says Nielsen’s Dave Thomas and Steve Hasker.
The new Nielsen tests will compare the ratings currency to STB data “to determine if the STB data can help supply greater fidelity to our ratings projections and enable more granular reporting, including to additional stations and regional networks.”