Four months after reports said Nielsen would begin measuring viewership of Netflix and Amazon prime content, the TV ratings service this week said it will start offering its metrics by the middle of the year.
“That will be the last significant portion of overall television content viewing that we don’t already measure,” Chief Executive Officer Mitch Barns told Bloomberg news service. “We really will have a full set of capabilities in the market to measure what we call the total audience across all screens, devices and platforms.”
Reliable data from the two popular subscription video on demand services could help content owners get a better handle on just how valuable their assets are to the streaming players, potentially changing the balance of power between them and SVOD providers.
It also could help pay-TV operators better gauge just how much the services are impacting their own business.
A report in November said TV viewing was down 7% in October Y/Y, and implied the major culprit was streaming services, which continue to grow at a steady pace.
Nielsen will use technology that “listens” to audio from shows via its own set-top box to determine how much content is being watched.
Netflix maintains “collecting ratings on streaming services is an outdated mode of doing business,” Bloomberg reported.
Netflix has about 39 million subscribers in the United States and about 57 million worldwide; Amazon Prime is estimated to have as many as 50 million worldwide, but provides no geographic breakdown.
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