When it comes to the development and distribution of content, the pace of innovation has been breathtaking. Today, people consume media on multiple platforms and devices and, with the rise of mobile technologies, they do it any time and in any place. So, how should this proliferating and diverse consumption be measured?
Some, such as Frédéric Filloux in his Monday Note post on 20 May, argue that a site-centric approach using server logs is required. At Nielsen, though, we believe this overlooks some of the essential aspects of media measurement in today's world.
Currently, each publisher can only measure its own data. They can understand volume but, while some collect extensive user data through registration, in many cases they know little about their visitors. That's why Nielsen measures people.
Online audiences don't just visit websites in a vacuum – they are real people with real lives and real families and they no longer consume media in a linear way. When Nielsen recruits people for a panel, we do so with their explicit permission, and that allows us to get to know them. We construct panels that statistically represent the census of the region, and this gives us (and our clients) unique context about consumer behaviour across a wide variety of devices – computers, yes, but also televisions, smartphones, tablets, and more.