05.27.2005 12:00 AM
Nielsen to Track VOD Usage
Nielsen is planning add VOD ratings to its menu of TV measurement methods.

The Nielsen active/passive meter-- a tool that detects codes in broadcast signals that are delivered to TVs--will collect the VOD data, but the company assures the public that the data collected about the viewing habits of a household will be separated by the household's street address, and only the ZIP Code will pinpoint where the viewing takes place.

According to several reports, the ubiquitous ratings group will begin this new plan in the beginning of Q2 2006; by February, the active/passive meters will be installed in households that have VOD; Nielsen estimates that 25 percent of U.S. TV households have access to VOD.

To start, statistics of programming that was viewed via VOD within seven days of its original air-date will be pooled with DVR and other ratings information. Later, when Nielsen creates further measurement technologies, the numbers will be separated. Those breakout estimates are expected to be available in the company's fourth quarter 2006. More software needs to be developed before this new tracking method can be fully implemented.

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