Nielsen-Adobe Ratings Partnership Is Belated, But Monumental

Nielsen and Adobe are partnering up to create what looks to be the most comprehensive compilation of viewing analytics ever.

Nielsen-Adobe Ratings Partnership Is Belated, But Monumental

So news broke early Tuesday morning that Nielsen is teaming up with Adobe to offer ratings for people who watch shows online. And you might feel like — FINALLY, right?

"People are watching more video than ever. We're seeing an explosion of video consumption across multiple devices."

We've all been watching TV shows online for years, and it's almost unbelievable that Nielsen hasn't done a better job of getting into that ratings game. But, truth is, it's harder than it seems. 

In February 2013, Nielsen announced it would include streaming into its ratings. And a year ago, in October 2013, the company said it was officially adding online viewers. Yes, this felt pretty belated. 

But with this new effort, Nielsen does seem to be making strides. It's being called a "first" — the partnership between Nielsen and Adobe will provide a service that tracks views across platforms, across the web, apps, desktops, game consoles, and will be able to tell when a viewer switches between devices.

The Wrap explains the partnership will:

Use Nielsen's digital audience measurement with Adobe's digital analytics. Also, what's interesting here, they'll even rate articles, really just about, everything on the web.

As PC World puts it"With the service, partnered broadcasters could see, for instance, if viewers began watching a show on Netflix on their laptop, then switched to a Roku set-top box to finish it. And then read an article on ESPN.com."

So, this is helpful to content producers and advertisers. Yes, they can track views on one platform, like Hulu. But data across platforms is harder to gather.

And The Wall Street Journal brings up another reason why this has been slow to come — Nielsen says "it requires consensus among its media partners to move forward with major new initiatives."

Getting in on the ground floor with the partnership are ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, Viacom and Sony Pictures TelevisionAnd Wired says what's really new here...is the old. A longing for old media. 

It's hard to measure popularity online — is it about clicks? Sharing? "Nielsen and Adobe are looking for a way to take all of those fragments and piece them together to create a picture that makes sense the way old media did."

The new service is expected to launch in 2015.