Nielsen speeds up single-source meter rollout

TVandPC initiative will measure viewing for TV and online

Urged by clients to move faster, Nielsen responded Tuesday with a plan to accelerate the rollout of the Internet meter to its national people meter sample. The plans call for Nielsen to complete the roll out by Aug. 31, 2010, instead of some time in 2011.

The initiative, now called TVandPC will create the industry's first single-source measure of viewing to both TV and online. Once the rollout is complete, Nielsen will be able to report online video viewing from 7,500 national-people-meter homes, representing about 20,000 people and 12,000 computers.

The service can't come fast enough for TV networks and their advertisers, which are extending their programming and commercials to the Web. In the past few months, the cry from industry groups, most notably the Council for Innovative Media Measurement, likely got Nielsen's attention.

Currently Nielsen's Internet meter is installed in a small sample of 375 people-meter homes. The company will begin to expand that sample later this month.

The new TVandPC service will serve as the foundation for a number of Nielsen's cross platform measurement initiatives, including the ability to report an "extended screen" rating for programming and commercial content that air on both TV and online.

Nielsen is the parent company of Mediaweek and The Hollywood Reporter.