Nielsen overhauls online measurement with mobile, daily rankings and bigger audience samples


Nielsen is introducing mobile and tablet audience measurement, bringing in daily audience measurement statistics for websites and vastly increasing the size of its audience samples as it aims to appease large and small publishers, Mumbrella can reveal.

Large publishers have consistently claimed the current system does not pick up users on mobile devices, underestimating audiences, whilst publishers with unique audiences under 250,000 are currently measured the audience sample size was not previously considered reliable enough to be accurately reported.

Alice Manners

Alice Manners

Changes approved by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to the Nielsen Online Rankings will also see the release of daily unique audience information to media agencies in a bid to give a more accurate picture of the online world.

“The move to daily audience data across digital devices will be an incredible advantage to the industry for digital and cross-media planning and analysis,” said Alice Manners, CEO of the IAB.  “We look forward to working with Nielsen on this journey.”

Whilst the rankings currently look at data from one in every 2,000 people online, according to Nielsen the new system “will measure one in two”.

Previously Nielsen was unable to provide an accurate unique audience for websites under 250,000, with a rival survey run by the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA) only providing publishers with the number of unique browsers – the number of devices that have visited their website.

Monique Perry

Monique Perry

Monique Perry, head of Nielsen’s media industry group, said: “It delivers richer and faster information for the industry to make even stronger advertising investments across more sites. This is a real measurement revolution and one that publishers and advertisers will be delighted with.”

While Perry did not to comment on whether the changes raised questions about the accuracy of the previous Nielsen Online Ratings, she noted: “The new scale makes daily audience measurement for all sites possible – this is not currently available.

“This increased scale and subsequent daily delivery of data provides the industry with even better granularity, depth and frequency of data. This is world leading digital audience measurement.”

John Price, formerly Nielsen’s media group business director, will lead the move to daily online measurement data.

“This is important from a media planning and buying perspective”, said Price. “In simple terms if you think about the types of data that people have and work with particularly on TV and digital buying, they have overnight TV data sitting next to monthly digital figures.

“Now we have the same data and can compare apples with apples.”

In October of 2014, the IAB announced that Nielsen had retained the contract to be preferred supplier for the provision of digital audience measurement services in Australia, signalling there would be some changes to the metodologies.

Nic Christensen


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