Out of home gets its first official Nielsen ratings

September 3, 2008 by Dave Haynes

The Nielsen Company and Integrated Media Measurement Inc. have released the first-ever TV ratings for screens hanging in bars and offices and other such public places, using mobile phone technology.

The research was bankrolled by traditional sports broadcaster ESPN, and media buyer Zenith Media.

Olympics coverage drew the bigggest numbers, not surprisingly.

Reports MediaPost:

Said Glenn Enoch, vice president of integrated media research for ESPN, in a release: “Out-of-home delivery is a critical part of ESPN delivery, encompassing usage on campuses, in hotels, at work as well as bars and restaurants.”

IMMI provides the technology in the form of a mobile phone to some 1,700 users where signals are transmitted back to Nielsen/IMMI. Later this year, Nielsen/IMMI will roll out a local service in six markets–New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and Denver– with some 500 users carrying a mobile device in each market. 

I’m not sure this is terribly meaningful to what we do, in terms of the numbers, but it is at least further evidence the mainstream is starting to acknowledge an ocean of eyeballs outside living rooms. For mainstream broadcasters, it’s a way to argue that audiences are not necessarily eroding, they’re just watching in different venues.

Ad Age’s take … 

Leave a comment