Myth: It’s hard for Nielsen to measure out-of-home viewing


Don’t blame Nielsen.

Compared to, say, curing the common cold, it’s relatively very easy for Nielsen to measure out-of-home viewing. But easy does not equal “cheap” or “free” so more accurately one could say “it’s easy, but  expensive to measure and nobody wants to foot the bill.” 

Lots of World Cup fans wish Nielsen measured ALL viewing. But Nielsen doesn’t exist for World Cup fans or fans in general. It exists to facilitate advertising.

Nielsen has tried (tried, and tried again) with out of home viewing measurement. It has found things that worked pretty well. But, not surprisingly, advertisers don’t care. Advertisers don’t want to pay for people at bars, parties, etc. and the TV networks weren’t able to move them to part with their cash to pay for those viewers.

The reason why out of home viewing isn’t measured isn’t that Nielsen sucks or that it’s too hard to figure out, it’s that  advertisers don’t want to/aren’t willing to pay for those viewers, so nobody is willing to pay Nielsen to measure it.

Nielsen isn’t  a charity, so with nobody willing to pay for such measurement, it doesn’t measure it.


1 thought on “Myth: It’s hard for Nielsen to measure out-of-home viewing”

  1. I’m not really compelled to think the advertisers are wrong for not wanting out of home viewing. If you’re downing drinks at a bar w/ your fellow sports fans, how much attention are you really paying to those any given ad, particularly if it isn’t for a product at said bar, or if you haven’t decided to make a drinking game out of those creepy DirecTV “wires” ads?

    I have similar reservations about the hype people are trying to build around “social media engagement”, since my personal experience mostly involves using the second screen to ignore the ads on the first one.


Leave a Comment