When popular network television programs lose credit for well over one million viewers because time-shifting isn’t fully measured, calling cross-platform video consumption disruptive “is not even doing it justice,” says the head of research and media development at NBCUniversal.
In an interview with Beet.TV, Alan Wurtzel reveals the extent to which consumer viewing choices have upended accurate measurement of the company’s programs. On average, depending on the show, anywhere from 15% to 35% of episode viewing is not being captured by Nielsen.
“To give you a sense of what that means, with some of our programs like The Blacklist and Blindspot, we’re losing well over a million 18-49 viewers and that’s pretty significant,” says Wurtzel. “To say it’s disruptive is not even doing it justice.”
It’s not just the hip, early adopters who are selecting to time shift network content. Or, as Wurtzel puts it, “People who are 25, wear black and live in Williamsburg” Brooklyn.
“Time shifting is the way that they want to consume television,” says Wurtzel. “We’ve found that over 40% of people say to us, ‘Even if I’m available to watch a program live I would prefer to time shift it.’ Because they want the control. They want the ability to watch it anyway the want to watch it.”
While noting that Nielsen has made progress in cross-platform viewing, NBCUniversal is encouraging other companies to step up and help fill the measurement gap. Wurtzel cites the company’s hiring of TiVo and RealtyMine to gauge cross-platform viewing of the Summer Olympics as one example.
NBCUniversal will gain data and analysis from TiVo Research’s set-top-box data as well as RealityMine’s focus in digital and consumer behavior research, MediaPost reports.
“It’s great when there’s competition,” Wurtzel says. “What we need is for the industry to coalesce behind” the need for genuine cross-platform management and move beyond seven-day viewing metrics.
This interview is part of a series on the future of TV analytics and measurement sponsored by TiVo Research. Please visit this page for additional segments.