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Nielsen ratings have been called into question by many, but it's all we've had in the form of an accepted, standardized rating system. The Financial Times reports that some major media companies have joined together to change that. Driven by the lack of a clear ratings source for digital video, which -- thanks to Hulu and vastly improved network web sites -- has suddenly become an increasingly popular outlet for network content, the companies have decided to form a consortium challenging Nielse
the companies have decided to form a consortium challenging Nielsen's supremacy. The players involved here indicate just how seriously this issue is being considered:
Media participants in the consortium -- including networks owned by NBC Universal, Time Warner, News Corp, Viacom, CBS, Discovery and Walt Disney -- expect it to be operational by September.
They have pulled in Procter & Gamble and AT&T, the top and third-biggest US advertisers, and Unilever. The involvement of such big names highlights how urgently advertisers feel the need for better information to justify ads that run across multiple media platforms.
Apparently, some people involved are expecting "the consortium to award contracts for measuring set-top box data and cross-platform viewers across TV and digital sources as early as the fourth quarter of this year." Nielsen has plans to fully roll-out it's own measurement of TV and internet usage by 2011.