Nielsen weighs in on PwC’s My Screen report as questions over data usage mount

Facebook commissioned PwC to research and write a report to provide it, and the market, with “a balanced and independent view of the video market”. The report was released, but then pulled from distribution. After questions over its whereabouts, and the TV industry slamming its methodology and use of data, PwC said the report’s distribution needed to be paused as “a very small subset of industry-sourced data” was validated.  The report’s author, Ben Shepherd, then defended the report, and hit out at data-provider Nielsen for selling data to the market, but not standing behind its usage.

That’s the story so far, and now Nielsen has had its say on the debacle which has caused rumblings in the industry and will see the report re-issued.

How do Australians consume video? Well, we’re not quite sure yet

Mumbrella understands a key issue with the report from Nielsen’s perspective was on page nine in which Nielsen Digital Panel Data was used. This data subset looks at Australians accessing text content, rather than video consumption. Given the My Screen report attempted to uncover how Australians are spending their time consuming video content, Nielsen believes its Digital Content Ratings – which can be broken out into text consumption and video formats – should have been used.

In his explanatory piece over the weekend, report author Shepherd said the report will now be re-issued without Nielsen data.

“In the report to be released, all Nielsen numbers have been removed and Roy Morgan has been used across multiple dimensions instead. The reasons for Roy Morgan usage is consistent – it’s a panel and it allows the analysis required at the depth we believe marketers need,” Shepherd said.

This statement is somewhat at odds with Nielsen’s newly released statement, which claims since the report’s release, it has been working with PwC to rectify the issue, and properly use its Digital Content Ratings in the report.

“As an independent measurement provider, Nielsen collaboratively works with our clients to release limited excerpts of our syndicated data to market. To ensure the accuracy and transparency of any statement that use our data, Nielsen provides sourcing guidelines to support clients pulling reports and allow for other clients to replicate statements made within user interfaces. All publications using Nielsen data contractually must go through this process,” Monique Perry, Nielsen’s managing director of media and sports said in a statement.

“Following the PwC report release, the Nielsen team has worked collaboratively in supporting PwC to go through the review process and apply Digital Content Ratings video measurement data and comparable text data for release in the report.”

Nielsen also provided two graphics to clarify some of the data used in the report.

The graphics show the unique audience for media outlets in Australia based on consumers’ text consumption and their video consumption.

(Click to enlarge)

Nielsen stands by the data used in the initial My Screen Report – in that it was correct – but believes it didn’t serve the proposed purpose of the report. Mumbrella understands Nielsen has had to address the problem after the report’s release, as it did not see it before it hit the market.

Thus far, Facebook has stood by the report, previously issuing a statement to Mumbrella, saying: “We purposely selected PwC as an impartial consultancy to provide a balanced and independent view of the video market.

“The majority of the report uses PwC’s own research data and provides an insightful view of the video ad market. We are aware that PwC are in discussions around certain sub segments of the data. We hope to have an update on this shortly. Until then we have decided to pause the distribution of the report in the market.”


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