Nielsen has thumb on video game ads

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Nielsen Media Research will add video game ratings to its lineup of entertainment data offerings starting the middle of next year.

GamePlay Metrics, the all-electronic ratings service, will establish new measures for the buying and selling of advertising in video games.

In addition, the data, provided to subscribers on a weekly basis, will show gamers' activities across such other media platforms as television and the Internet.

Nielsen is a unit of VNU Group, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter. The data is the first offering from the newly created Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services division.

"The value of an entertainment medium is directly proportional to how well it is measured," said Jeff Herrmann, vp Nielsen Wireless and Interactive Services. "A reliable and accurate standard of measurement for video gaming will drive advertising investment in this medium and convert video game advertising from a discretionary choice to a must-have option."

The data will enable the video game industry to develop an advertising business model to offset the steep development costs of new titles for next-generation consoles. In addition, the metrics will give advertisers a greater level of precision for targeting the digital consumer.

Nielsen's GamePlay Metrics service also will provide advertisers with comprehensive analysis on how video game play affects or complements the use of other media. The data, for example, will show what TV programs gamers watch when they are not playing games.

Nielsen's national TV sample of more than 10,000 households collects information on video game use through existing People Meter technology. Nielsen GamePlay Metrics will use a patented approach to harvest the data from current and next-generation video game consoles within these sample households.

The service will passively record the titles of games while capturing key demographic detail about players.
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