SMG, Nielsen partner to measure media

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BEIJING -- Chinese broadcast and entertainment giant the Shanghai Media Group and the Nielsen Co. have agreed to work together to measure outdoor media, the Internet and new-media technology.

SMG president Li Ruigang and Nielsen CEO David Calhoun signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday in Shanghai to formalize the partnership that aims to provide, for instance, reliable data about China's 123 million Internet users and its 460 million mobile phone subscribers -- a group larger than the U.S. population and greater than China's number of television households.

The partnership, announced Thursday, echoes an agreement the two companies signed in January 2005 to work on database development and marketing. At that time, New York- and Netherlands-based Nielsen was called VNU Inc.

In July 2006, VNU was taken over in a $9 billion private-equity buyout led by hedge fund the Blackstone Group.

Nielsen is the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and AdWeek, among other business publications.

Nielsen's lead media research company, A.C. Nielsen -- best known worldwide for its television ratings system -- has a broad business in China selling detailed data about consumer behavior across all media.

"We are confident the Nielsen Company's technologies and analytical capabilities will benefit the media industry and SMG," Li said in a statement.

Calhoun added, "SMG has been at the forefront of developing and supporting the offering of influential multimedia platform, providing, distributing and producing high-quality media and entertainment content."
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