September 02, 2008

TV Week

Nielsen, Integrated Media Measurement Team for Out-of-Home TV Metrics

Integrated Media Measurement Inc. and Nielsen Co. have began a new service that electronically measures national television viewing outside the home, in locations such as offices, fitness clubs, hotels and bars.The companies released figures for July that showed that an episode of Fox's "House" and the All Star Home Run Derby on ESPN were the highest rated programming in terms of out-of-home ratings in July, with each registering 570,000 viewers out of home.The companies also measured a group of special events and sports programs from June 30 to Aug. 10 and found that the Olympics Opening Ceremony on NBC had 1.1 million out of home viewers.IMMI and Nielsen said that they had two clients for the new service: ESPN and Zenith Media. Television networks have long said that adding out-of-home viewers would augment audiences."Zenith believes firmly in following the video," Wendy Marquardt, President of Zenith Media US, said in a statement. "In a mobile society, viewership isn't just about people sitting in the living room gathered around the set."The new service uses IMMI technology to measure out-of-home viewing, which will not be added into Nielsen's People Meter numbers.Out-of-home viewing is measured by giving sample viewers a special cell phone that picks up audio it is exposed to. IMMI then matches the signature from that audio to television, radio and motion picture sounds.About 500 people in each of six markets-New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, House and Denver-have been given the cell phones. There are also 1,700 national panelists.Nielsen plans to offer local out-of-home ratings in those markets later this year.