Nielsen is tracking streaming services like it does broadcast TV

Timothy J. Seppala

To address the new normal of cord cutting, Nielsen is going to start tracking subscription-based streaming numbers in a big way. The idea is to measure streaming services in the same way that the outfit has tracked broadcast TV for decades: with demographic info and the number of people streaming a program. As TechCrunch notes, only Netflix has signed on for the tracking service, but Nielsen expects Amazon and Hulu to jump on board next year.

A&E, Disney-ABC, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros, specifically, will be watching those numbers from Netflix. What's odd is that this won't be a comprehensive reporting, as mobile devices won't be counted. Given the number of people who stream on their commutes or on a tablet that might double as their bedroom TV, that could adversely affect the ratings' accuracy.

Nielsen began tracking TV ratings for Hulu's live TV service and YouTube TV in July, and a month later announced it would begin tracking videos on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube viewing habits back in August. As more and more people shift away from traditional TV broadcasts, advertisers and media executives still need a way to measure a show's popularity. This new Subscription Video On Demand Content Ratings program should help with exactly that.


  • This article originally appeared on Engadget.