Nielsen Considers Compulsory Internet Monitoring For Its TV Ratings Households

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As The Nielsen Company prepares to complete its merger with online audience metrics firm NetRatings by the end of this month, the company is planning to make internet measurement compulsory in all of its TV ratings households, according to MediaPost. The proposal, presented to Nielsen clients in a recent status report, is part of Nielsen’s A2/M2 (Anytime/Anywhere) integrated measurement program currently being tested.

Under the TV/internet integration project, Nielsen would install new meters and software in its existing TV ratings homes to enable the company to monitor online usage. However, a sample test of this new convergence policy indicates that Nielsen will have an uphill battle convincing its TV raters to go along with it. Although no number was released, a significant portion of respondents have rejected the prospect of having Nielsen view their online activities due to privacy concerns. In particular, testers were worried that Nielsen would be able to access financial and other personal information stored on their computers. While taking those misgivings into account, Nielsen is considering alternatives to the mandatory TV/computer monitoring system and might test a limited number of TV homes this fall.

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