Nielsen wants some set-top data after all. After watching would-be challengers use cable tv boxes to decipher viewing patterns, Nielsen struck its own deal to do the same thing with Charter Communications. Our take: The deal is an admission that Nielsen’s 14,000-home sample isn’t giving it all the information it needs.
It’s also reactionary: Nielsen has watched this year as many of its biggest clients started buying set-top data from TiVo, including Starcom, Omnicom, NBC and CBS; TNS and Google are also trying to grab chunks of Nielsen’s businesss.
Nielsen is getting data from 320,000 Charter subscribers in Los Angeles. That compares to TiVo’s Stop Watch service, which is culled from a random sample of 40,000 TiVo users. TNS recently signed a deal with DirecTV, to cull data from 100,000 set tops; and Google has a deal to sell ads across EchoStar’s Dish Network, which includes a look at set-top data for 13.7 million subscribers.