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AOL Will Offer Nielsen Ratings for Online Shows by the Fall: WSJ

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NewFront week, where online broadcasters announce new shows and look for brand support, begins next week in New York City, and AOL will have a pleasant surprise for advertisers, reports the Wall Street Journal. AOL will announce the debut of Nielsen TV-style ratings for online programs beginning in the fall, the paper reports. AOL is expected to offer C3 and C7 ratings, where advertisers can see how many people watched a show within three days and seven days of its premiere.

The move to offer online ratings identical to TV ratings is a crucial one for online broadcasters, who have been trying without much success to siphon ad dollars from television. While online video advertising is growing, it's at the expense of display and print advertising, not television. The common wisdom is that TV ad buyers will respond better to online metrics that speak the language of TV. AOL has a long history of working with Nielsen, but this announcement should fill in the gaps, bringing true Nielsen ratings to the platform.

AOL will bring more star-power to its original series lineup, says the Wall Street Journal, by announcing a show produced by Ellen DeGeneres and featuring Kevin Nealon, and another created by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.

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