Advanced Television

JW Player CEO contemplates post-Nielsen future

September 8, 2021

The Media Ratings Council has suspended its accreditation for Nielsen’s national TV ratings service after Nielsen was found to be undercounting TV audiences.

In response to the news, Dave Otten, CEO and co-founder of JW Player, said he believes Nielsen will soon be obsolete as more audiences switch to streaming (for context, JW Player’s software powers video for over half of the Comscore top 50 media properties).

“For decades, advertisers have had to trust Nielsen because there was no other option. Chances are, this isn’t the first time their measurements have been inaccurate. That isn’t necessarily their fault. The truth is there’s no way to know exactly how many people are watching traditional TV. Nielsen’s statistical sampling method is the best we can do,” said Otten.

“The good news is that with the rise of streaming and OTT apps, advertisers and broadcasters will no longer need to rely on Nielsen or any other ratings agency. Broadcasters with OTT apps will own their own data that shows exactly how many people are watching, how long they’re watching, and how many ads they’re watching. This precision measurement wasn’t possible with linear TV. What the industry needs now is a set of standards for how broadcasters report their metrics to advertisers to ensure the numbers are reliable,” he added.

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