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Nielsen Adds Multimedia Ratings Capability

AdAge reports that in the wake of criticism that it has moved too slowly on measuring how people use content in an emerging multimedia digital environment, Nielsen unveiled an ambitious plan in which it promised electronic measurement of all media platforms, including MP3 players, cellphones, online video and out-of-home TV viewing.

Nielsen dubbed the initiative "Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement" -- or A2/M2 -- and plans to introduce portable electronic measurement tools and integrate its Nielsen/NetRatings software into its national TV sample homes.

It will integrate its measurement system into its national and local people meter TV samples to create a single sample that measures TV and online video use so advertisers can understand how the two interact. The merging of on-air and online content has played a major role in this year's upfront discussions, and Nielsen purports that agencies will be able to use the data in their planning tools to "optimize combined TV/internet campaigns."

Nielsen promised it would start this summer installing and testing software meters with Nielsen/NetRatings technology on the PCs and laptops of small groups of its people meter sample. It has set a goal of fully deploying the system in the 2007-2008 broadcast season.

"The world is changing and people are viewing in different ways and looking to do things in different ways," said Steve Berman, senior VP-ad sales at local cable sports network YES. "Nielsen needs to be on that same page with the viewers."

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