Nielsen whistling past the graveyard

Jim Meskauskas in MediaPost comments on Nielsen’s plans to report on personal video recorder (PVR) households but not on their viewing of advertisements.

As MediaPost reported last Friday in an article by Joe Mandese, agencies are asking that Nielsen provide, along with the aggregated program “viewing” data, minute-by-minute ratings data so that ratings can be attributed to ads themselves.

Doesn’t this make sense? The only reason advertisers look at ratings for programming is because that is the only data made available to them. If we could get minute-by-minute ratings all this time, does anyone in the media planning and buying business doubt we would be using them? Just like demographics are surrogates for trends in psychographics and product usage, so program ratings are proxies for advertisement ratings.

TiVo, and in particular, cable companies offering digital services, are in a perfect position to provide the infrastructure for minute-by-minute ratings data. They have the technology, the scale, and they are already in your homes.

(Link thanks to MarketingWonk, where Tig Tillinghouse adds some additional good thoughts on the topic.)