Nielsen, for good measure

Firm realigns Web, wireless ops

NEW YORK -- The Nielsen Co. is combining its NetRatings and BuzzMetrics divisions into a single Web measurement service called Nielsen Online.

Nielsen also is set to announce Monday that it will combine Telephia, the telecom measurement service it acquired in June, with other company initiatives into Nielsen Mobile.

NetRatings and BuzzMetrics will keep their separate branding, but Itzhak Fisher, executive chairman of Nielsen Online, said their metrics now can be given to clients side-by-side.

Along with the reorganization, Nielsen Online also will provide deeper demographics data on blogosphere buzz -- meaning consumer-generated media around a product or service -- as well as hits and time spent on a site featuring a certain product and service. Clients also will be able to see how their buzz stacks up against their competitors' and get more information on how users are consuming online video.

"Being able to fuse the data sets gives a tremendous value to the consumer," said Fisher, who was executive chairman of BuzzMetrics. "Before, they just got consumer-generated media or they just got hits, but by bringing all of them together, you get a complete picture."

Fisher also said that Nielsen, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, is planning on expanding its online panel to more than the 350,000 people that already are surveyed, but he declined to provide specifics. He said the company is planning to roll out 25 other projects in first-quarter 2008 that will focus on combining online data with the more traditional Nielsen offline data.

Nielsen Mobile will provide similar information for telecom industry watchers. It will further showcase consumer data about brands and services as well as information about what mobile users are doing with their devices.

Former Telephia CEO Sid Gorham will be president and CEO of Nielsen Mobile.

Fisher said that the initiatives reflect a companywide focus on the importance of online data measurement. He said this has been a point of emphasis from Nielsen CEO David Calhoun.

"If you want to be a one-stop shop research company, you have to take, hands-on, the trend of people moving to the Web," Fisher said. "Nielsen is a traditional research company, but the growth is going to come from mobile and online."