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MaximumPC: Nielsen Gets with the Times, Will Start Measuring Netflix and Other Streaming Traffic

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http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u69/netflix_remote_4.jpgTaking into account viewing habits of cord cutters


A growing number of consumers are moving away from cable and satellite TV subscriptions in favor of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. It makes sense in a lot of ways -- why pay a premium for a bloated TV package just so you can access the handful of channels you really want to watch? That's a topic/rant for another day, but in the meantime, Nielsen will start taking into account the viewing habits of streaming subscribers by measuring viewership data for online video services.


Nielsen will make the change effective next month, The Wall Street Journal reports. Though long overdue, it's not necessarily Nielsen's fault that subscription-based online video services weren't being accounted for. Services like Netflix simply refuse to share that kind of data, so an end-around is needed.


Based on client documents reviewed by WJS, Nielsen has a new measurement capability that will allow it to meter viewership data from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime all on its own. The technology works by analyzing audio to determine which show is being streamed.


The downside to harvesting this data is that it could put more power into the hands of Hollywood when it comes time to renew contracts with streaming providers. It's not as though big media has been all that fanatic about embracing streaming services to begin with, and by knowing how much a show is viewed, they'll be sure to use that information during contract renewals.


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