Comcast is teaming with Nielsen to determine a way for advertisers to insert current ads into on-demand episodes that are being viewed by consumers days after they originally air.
Nielsen will be forced to support the ESPN Project Blueprint research initiative as a condition of its merger with Arbitron, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.
While Nielsen plans to begin measuring live TV viewing on tablets and smartphones next fall, the ratings firm reportedly won't yet track the number of viewers who use mobile devices to watch video-on-demand content.
Set-tops capable of delivering video-on-demand content are available in 60 percent of U.S. homes, up from 37 percent penetration in 2008, Nielsen said in its "Cross-Platform Report" for the second quarter.
Watching live TV is still a viable option, but on-demand viewing, and especially the ability for consumers to watch content "on their own terms," is now playing a major role in how U.S. viewers consume television, the latest research data from Nielsen said.
A report released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the average American watched two hours and 50 minutes of TV daily last year, an increase from two hours and 44 minutes in 2010.
Media bosses want Nielsen to measure their online audiences sooner rather than later: That was the thrust of a round-up of recent media executive comments made to investors from Bloomberg.
Nielsen said Tuesday that it will include homes that can only receive video programming through a broadband Internet connection in its 2014 estimate of the U.S. TV household universe, which will expand by 1.2 percent to 115.6 million.
Years ago, soon after I began writing about the TV business, I investigated how I could find one of the households that Nielsen uses to generate its ratings reports. I never found a Nielsen household, but this February, the next best thing happened: A Nielsen representative called me and asked if I'd be willing to participate in a ratings survey.
Challenging comScore in the online video ratings business, Nielsen said Tuesday that it will test measurements of TV shows that are viewed online through a pilot program that includes Discovery Communications, A&E Networks, ABC, AOL, CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision and The CW.