According to this article on BusinessWeek (Ganging Up On Nielsen by Catherine Holahan), erinMedia -an upstart media-research company- has secured up to $25 million from a coalition of media companies and advertisers.
erinMedia contends they have come up with a better way to measure audiences than the one used by Nielsen Media Research. According to erinMedia, they can measure every second of television watching and their technology works with any set-top box out there. Nielsen, on the other hand, relies on a proprietary set-top box (installed on a statistically significant number of homes) and reports data on a minute-by-minute basis.
erinMedia’s technology could in theory provide much better data for advertisers and would allow them to serve advertising based on each viewer’s television habits. However, Nielsen’s technology is pretty much the worldwide standard for television ratings… erinMedia has already sued them for abusing this monopoly power, although the lawsuits are still pending.
It will be interesting to see how this battle plays out.
Full disclosure: Our AudienceMeter software was originally designed to work with data generated from AGB/Nielsen people-meter reports. It can, however, be adapted to future data formats.
In other related news, Nielsen Media Research has announced the availability of their Arianna Software in the US. Our AudienceMeter software works in conjunction with reports generated by Arianna, offering additional business intelligence and analysis capabilities.
Tomorrow (Feb. 8th, 2007) I will be attending the We Media Conference at the University of Miami. Drop me a note if you’ll be there @ granier /at/ gmail /dot/ com.