TV network execs have long complained that Nielsen’s TV ratings undercount audiences because the measurement firm doesn’t always account for consumers watching shows on digital apps.
Now, internet viewing on Comcast’s Xfinity Stream app and website will be integrated into Nielsen’s official linear TV ratings, under an expanded pact between the U.S.’s largest cable operator and Nielsen.
Nielsen is targeting early 2019 to bring measurement of Xfinity Stream computer and mobile viewing of TV programming into its official linear currency. Currently, television viewership across Xfinity TV set-top boxes including the operator’s X1 platform is included in Nielsen’s national and local ratings.
“People are consuming content differently and across a variety of screens,” Marcien Jenckes, president of Comcast Cable Advertising, said in a statement. “With this expanded relationship, our aim is to provide marketers with a more holistic view into how people are engaging with content and foster better exchanges between marketers and consumers.”
In the past year, Nielsen has worked to add other “virtual” internet pay-TV services into its television ratings. Other services that have started contributing Nielsen’s Digital in TV Ratings service in recent months include Google’s YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV and Dish Network’s Sling TV.
Xfinity Stream numbers will be included in Nielsen’s TV ratings after a review period by both companies to sign off on the integration. In addition to the expanded linear TV measurement, under the pact Xfinity Stream viewing will be included in Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR) product.
The Xfinity Stream apps let Comcast’s TV subscribers watch their full live TV lineup on devices at home and more than 200 channels out of the home over any broadband connection in the U.S. The app, available for iOS and Android devices, also provides access to Xfinity On Demand titles.