US-based rating agency Nielsen is to begin measuring online viewing in what is seen as a response to concerns by broadcasters that falling ratings could be attributed to viewers migrating to online without their views of content being measured.
The company revealed in a memo to clients that it would begin measuring online viewing through broadband-enabled devices in the autumn, enabling it to track viewing of services such as Hulu. It will also be able to identify when viewers are watching subscription video-on-demand services including Netflix but will not be able to measure viewership of specific shows in most cases.
It is unclear how much take-up Nielsen will see for its measurement of online viewing as advertising line-ups online typically differ from those of the broadcast networks. Neilsen is also currently unable to track viewing on devices including tablets.