Out-of-home TV measuring service debuts

Nielsen, Integrated Media partner

For the first time, the TV industry has daily electronic measures of TV viewing outside the home.

On Monday, the Nielsen Co. and its partner, Integrated Media Measurement, debuted the first ratings results from the new syndicated service and announced two charter clients, ESPN and Zenith Media.

The service underscores the TV industry's and Nielsen's desire to "follow the video" for a complete picture of TV viewing behavior.

"In a mobile society, viewership isn't just about people sitting in the living room gathered around the set. Nielsen's out-of-home service is part of our commitment to the full understanding of video, in the home, out of the home, on the net and on personal media devices," said Wendy Marquardt, Zenith Media U.S. president.

Nielsen is offering the out-of-home service to clients as a standalone service, separate from Nielsen's national people meter service.

On average, the audiences for out-of-home programs is in the hundreds of thousands, adding up to three-tenths of a rating point.

During the viewing month of July (June 30 to July 27), Fox's "House" on June 30 with a 0.33 rating and "Moment of Truth" on July 8 (0.32 rating) had the largest out-of-home network TV audiences among persons 13-54. Among primetime cable network, the top-rated programs among persons 13-54 were ESPN's "Home Run Derby" with a 0.33 on July 14 and TNT's "Sprint Cup Racing/Daytona" with a 0.29 on July 5. As expected, the highest-rated out-of-home sports events were NBC's Summer Olympics on Aug. 8 with a 0.61 and Aug. 9 with a 0.55.

"Out-of-home delivery is a critical part of ESPN delivery, encompassing usage on campuses, in hotels, at work as well as bars and restaurants," said Glenn Enoch, vp integrated media research at ESPN. "We are interested both in the technology of this service, utilizing the first meter that captures viewing outside of homes and dorms, and in the program-level precision that it provides."

The national service is based on a combined panel of 3,000 participants across six local markets plus an additional 1,700 national panelists for an effective sample size of 2,500. To track exposure to media outside the home, panelists carry a mobile phone that tracks the audio signatures of media and matches those signatures to IMMI's database.

Later in the year, Nielsen and IMMI plan to deliver a local out-of-home viewing service in six markets: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver, the first markets where IMMI has samples of 500 participants.