Nielsen’s Gracenote Expands Its Inclusion Analytics Offering to Include Disabilities

Gracenote
(Image credit: Gracenote)

EMERYVILLE, Calif.—Nielsen's Gracenote has expanded the scope of its Inclusion Analytics solution by adding data on the representation of people with disabilities to the talent gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation information currently tracked. 

By providing visibility into the presence of physical, intellectual, cognitive, mental, sensory, and other disabilities in people appearing in popular programming, Gracenote said the Gracenote Inclusion Analytics paves the way for more equitable and accurate representation amongst the disability community and more informed decision-making around content investments. 

The disability nonprofit RespectAbility provided guidance in tracking this new data.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 26% of adults in the U.S. have a disability, either visible or non-apparent.1 In comparison, Share of Screen analysis from Gracenote Inclusion Analytics reveals just 8.8% of the top recurring cast members in popular broadcast, cable, and subscription video on demand (SVOD) programming represent the disability identity group, Graceland reported. 

Nielsen’s Graceland operation also stressed that they were expanding the data available in their Inclusion Analytics solution at a time that audiences increasingly demand diversity, equity, and inclusion in the content they choose to engage with. 

Nielsen’s 2022 Attitudes on Representation on TV study found that 48% of viewers are more likely to watch content in which their identity group is represented, a 13% jump from the previous year. Furthermore, 34% of people with disabilities surveyed indicated they felt under-represented in media and 52% said they were inaccurately represented. 

“More than one in four adults in the U.S. today are living with a disability, yet actors without disabilities are still cast to portray them in TV shows and films,” said Halleh Kianfar, vice president of product at Gracenote. “This is one example pointing to the large opportunity to create and invest in more representative content. Initiating positive change starts with measuring the diversity of talent featured across a range of identity groups and intersectionalities, and we’re proud that Gracenote Inclusion Analytics serves this critical purpose.” 

“We were honored to provide input to Nielsen’s Gracenote leading to new metrics indicating progress on representation of disabled talent on screen,” added Lauren Appelbaum, senior vice president of communications and entertainment and news media at RespectAbility. “Being able to measure the gap in representation of disability is a powerful capability that equips the media industry to act and invest in representative content and disabled talent. We hope tracking representation will lead to an increase over time.”

The disability values now tracked in Gracenote Inclusion Analytics include a range of categories: 

  • Neurodivergence
  • Intellectual/Developmental
  • Visual
  • Hearing
  • Physical
  • Mental Health

Data for Black, Indigenous and People of Color with disabilities is also available in Gracenote Inclusion Analytics with more parameters coming soon to provide more granular insights into intersectionality, the company said. 

The solution is available now covering broadcast, cable, and SVOD TV programming in the U.S. For more data and insights underscoring the importance of disability representation in content, visit https://www.nielsen.com/insights/2022/the-importance-of-disability-representation/ (opens in new tab).

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.