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Nielsen Plans Tool for Online Video Measurement, Says WSJ

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While viewers are quickly adopting online video, measuring those views has proven a challenge. Today, the Wall Street Journal reported that measurement company Nielsen will likely announce tomorrow that it's testing an online video measurement tool.

This is overdue news for the premium content companies that rely on accurate and accepted measurements for ad sales. Online, Nielsen has lagged behind competitor comScore, allowing comScore to create a larger presence for streaming media. However, comScore's online video measurement doesn't yet count set-top box or mobile views, so the field is still wide open.

The Nielsen tool will also start small. WSJ reports that the company will launch a pilot program for Nielsen Digital Program Ratings, and that NBC, Fox, ABC, UniVision, Discovery, and A&E have all signed up to be a part of it. The tool will track views on those company's own sites. Nielsen is planning a broader rollout of the service later in 2013.

Measurements from this system won't match traditional TV ratings. Instead, Nielsen will offer the number of unique viewers, and will break that data down by age and gender.

In an interview with the WSJ, Eric Solomon, Nielsen's senior vice president for global digital audience measurement, said that his company plans to measure mobile views in the future, and that this pilot program is intended to uncover "gotchas" before a full release.

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