Nielsen, NetRatings tackle TV/Internet user relationship

Nielsen Media Research and NetRatings are merging data on television viewership and Internet use to provide TV programmers and advertisers with a way to determine the relationship between television and Internet use and how to take advantage of it.

The new effort, called the National TV/Internet Fusion database, combines Nielsen’s National People Meter sample of more than 30,000 respondents with NetRatings’ NetView sample, which electronically tracks Internet use of about 29,000 panelists from homes and businesses.

The fused database uses panelist information, including age, sex, household income, household education and region of country, to link the two databases, thereby providing a comprehensive picture of consumers’ TV and online activities.

The companies have produced a research report of their April 2006 fused data, based on time spent watching television and usage of more than 2000 ad-supported Web sites. Included in the key findings:

  • Forty percent of the population is more television-centric; 24 percent is more Internet-centric; 15 percent equally use TV and the Internet heavily; 21 percent use both media medias lightly.
  • Heavy Internet users tend to watch more television than light Internet users.
  • Broadcast and cable networks achieve higher ratings among people who visit their Web sites; however, this relationship differs greatly by demographic and program genre.
  • Visitors to pure-play Internet Web sites tend to watch less television than average viewers.

For more information, visit