New Nielsen Ratings To Measure TV and Online Ads Together. SENSIBILITY

Us 21st Century Star-Children-Viewers watch our favorite shows across a variety of devices. Web browsers, and phones, and gaming consoles, and piston-powered steampunk machinations (wut?). Even as us Star Children have evolved both our minds and viewing habits, the way for measuring what is being watched has remained overly archaic. Good news! for those who have wept at the bedside of broken and dismissed television shows. Help is (maybe) on the way.


Nielsen says it is ready to sell what many advertisers have been clamoring for: a system that standardizes ratings for television and online ads.

The new system, given the name “cross-platform campaign ratings,” will combine Nielsen’s existing television ratings, which measure the reach and frequency of ads on TV, with Nielsen’s new online campaign ratings, which apply the same measurements to the Web.

Until now, the two types of ratings have existed on their own, frustrating companies that want to know how their TV and Web ads do or do not work together.

“This is a major breakthrough,” said Steve Hasker, the president for media products and advertiser solutions at Nielsen, in an interview last week. “This measure will show you the reach of your campaign on TV, the reach of your campaign online, and will show you the overlap between the two.”

The lack of overlap has posed problems for media buyers in the past.

The new system will initially be used by GroupM, the global advertising giant that is a subsidiary of WPP. But the system is not exclusive to GroupM; it will be available to other advertising buyers, Mr. Hasker said.

Nielsen started offering TV-like online ratings about six months ago. They have been used for 600 different advertising campaigns to date, according to Mr. Hasker. The new combination, he said, would help advertisers optimize their online-and-TV campaigns.

In the future, he said, Nielsen will extend the cross-platform system to include smartphone ad views and international ad views.

Rino Scanzoni, the chief investment officer of GroupM, said in a statement: “Our advertiser clients increasingly recognize that traditional television advertising and online video advertising must work together. It’s vital that we have consistent measurement, and that’s our goal in working with Nielsen.

Here’s hoping it sticks! Or something. I’m not really certain of the implications. I’m just hoping it’ll save Community. Yeah, there. I said it. I don’t care. Save. Community.