US TV stakeholders demand new measurement system

US media companies and marketers are planning to develop an alternative TV audience measurement currency due to frustration with the long-standing Nielsen system.

Watching TV

The major TV networks, including NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, Disney, Discovery and CBS and other media companies are expected to have a consortium in operation shortly with high-spending clients involved, according to a report in the Financial Times.

Media agencies GroupM and Starcom MediaVest together with clients Procter & Gamble, AT&T and Unilever are believed to be involved in the drive to develop a measurement system that delivers higher quality information more quickly and that can evaluate campaigns running on several platforms.

It is estimated that $70 billion is spent on TV advertising in the US annually but marketers are hungry for more information on how online video content is viewed online via PCs, handheld devices and mobiles.

The FT reports that Sam Armando, senior vp of audience analysis at Starcom MediaVest, said: “The most deficient thing is there’s no single source measurement (for television and digital video).”

The consortium is expected to tender new contracts for a company to develop a measurement system for TV set top boxes and cross-measurement across digital platforms.

Nielsen has been testing measurement across the internet and TV but is not expected to implement any system until 2011.

A debate over the definition of “TV viewing” is currently taking place on, see the comments here

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here