New Media Upends TV Ratings System

As reported by Reuters:

The explosion of ways people watch television is confounding the media industry, which has relied for decades on the Nielsen ratings but now must adapt to the realities of the Internet and on-demand video.

Americans are watching more TV than ever — an average of 151 hours a month — on more networks and in increasingly diverse ways. Industry heavyweights and analysts are calling for a new ratings system to keep up.

At first there was a “crisis in measurement” due to the scarcity of data, said Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development at NBC Universal, which is 80-percent owned by General Electric Co.

But now, he said, content providers are “drowning in data.”

Factor in TiVo and video-on-demand systems with upcoming Internet video portals OnDemand Online by Comcast Corp or Time Warner Inc’s TV Everywhere — and getting uniform data becomes that much more difficult.