Nielsen’s “Total Audience Measurement” Should get your Attention

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Nielsen is rolling out their ‘Total Audience Measurement’ data at the end of 2015, and if the preliminary information is any indication of how game changing this information is going to be, this is BIG! Although it is rare for UpShift Digital to have positive feedback about Nielsen, this is something that anyone in advertising, and who consults clients, must pay attention to. The gist of this data information is being able to manage true program viewership across multiple platforms and play back devices. It is imperative to measure this viewership, because time shifting is a very real thing, and in some important audiences, is the wide majority.

If you, or your clients, are attempting to reach a millennial audience, the information that Nielsen is capturing is extremely important to you. According to an early test of their data 85 percent of viewers 25-24 are time shifting their viewing. That’s right, only 15% are watching their television live. Knowing that in the past, the most likely shows to be watched live are news and sports, but now Facebook is reported in many studies as being the number one source of news and information for millennials. That leaves sports, as the one area to continue to capture the very lucrative 25-34 year old consumer. Of that same demo, 22 percent of the viewers used a TV connected device (AppleTV, Roku or Xbox) and 18 percent watched it digitally.

So the big question with this information is, what is happening to the typical commercial ad viewership, if the audience is shifting this much now, and will only continue to more so. Is the demo following that of a newspaper or print? Or is that demo even safe? According to Nielsen’s early data only 45 percent of the whole audience watching the test program during its live airing.

Will the attention span of the viewer demand change in length of ads or ad blocks, as it has on digital advertising? Think about how you feel about advertising when you’re watching something online. Are you the person that when the pre-roll comes up on YouTube, you’re counting down that 4 seconds until you can skip? Have you ever NOT skipped? If so, what was the advertiser, message, production quality and theme? If 4 seconds is the new norm, on non-live television/video advertising, we as creators of the marketing message, has a lot of work to do.

We at UpShift Digital are interested in following this data measurement tool, and seeing exactly what it does to advertising and television. See who ignores it, see who embraces it.

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