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Nielsen to unveil Total Audience Measurement tool

Live television viewing has been declining for months as households switch to streaming video on demand (SVOD) services. This is leading to changes across the industry and also new opportunities for those who want to enter the OTT space with their own streaming content services. Companies can take advantage of this viewing environment with a subscription billing model.

SVOD and device usage on the rise
According to Broadcasting Cable's first look at Nielsen's 3Q Total Audience report, SVOD penetration is up to 46 percent. Meanwhile, DVR penetration has remained static.

Currently, Nielsen doesn't measure SVOD viewers, but it has recognized the need to change, especially as the number of multimedia devices continues to grow. According to the report, multimedia device users are spending an increasing amount of time utilizing them. In Q3 of 2015, users spent 49 minutes on their devices, compared to just 43 minutes in 2013. App usage on smartphones has also grown.

It's likely that streaming video is playing a significant role in these changes, which is why Nielsen is working on a new measurement that will include viewership on streaming services. This means creators of shows that air on network TV will finally be able to count streaming consumers in their viewership.

Nielsen new tool imageNielsen's new tool will provide a more accurate picture of viewership.

Total Audience Measurement
Nielsen has been developing its new tool for about two years, and it's nearly ready for release. The Total Audience Measurement metric will account for viewers across devices and on platforms like YouTube. Nielsen will also be able to account for duplicate viewers so they aren't counted more than once.

As Megan Clarken, who is leading the project at Nielsen, told Adweek, there are $70 billion worth of advertising dollars at stake in this project.

Adding in all these additional views creates a different portrait of a show's popularity. Nielsen revealed the results of a test for a broadcast drama show that found only 45 percent of the audience for one episode viewed it live. The rest watched it on DVR, VOD, or through a connected device, among other methods.

Naturally, these numbers shift by demographic. Only 15 percent of adults between 24-34 watched the episode live, while 18 percent viewed it digitally.

These early numbers demonstrate how fast things are changing in the television viewing world. With younger viewers abandoning live TV viewing, it seems likely that OTT viewing is the wave of the future. 

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