Nielsen is set to acquire the remaining stake in NeuroFocus, a company that applies brainwave research to advertising, programming and messaging, Mediapost reports. The two companies started developing metrics over three years ago, when Nielsen first invested in the company three years ago.
A Nielsen rep said the company had no comment.
The timing of the purchase, according to Mediapost, which cited unidentified sources, was a spurred by concern that WPP Group might make a move to acquire NeuroFocus. Nielsen had a 30 percent stake in the company and last fall, WPP made an unsolicited offer for NeuroFocus.
While all media companies have been looking to enhance their analytics capabilities, the purchase of NeuroFocus does go a step beyond the services most offer. The Berkeley, CA.-based company’s main product is called Mynd, which uses headgear with sensors that can monitor electrical signals emitted by the brain. NeuroFocus’ claims to take in viewer data on a millisecond-by-millisecond basis – tracking attention and memory retention.
At a time when measurement of TV and online are converging, the acquisition could help Nielsen as it seeks to better unify its audience data for marketers.