It’s a Big Deal: Nielsen Counts YouTube, Facebook, Hulu Views

Mark the day, because today ratings giant Nielsen announced it will begin crediting views distributed through YouTube, Facebook, and Hulu in its Digital Content Ratings. No longer are views on those platforms wasted views. Now, publishers of short-form and long-form content can see how many incremental viewers they get over the three biggest ad-supported online video sites. The numbers won’t be added to Nielsen’s standard TV ratings, however, since those metrics only count views with identical ad loads.

How Nielsen is handling these three platforms is slightly different: For YouTube and Facebook, enabled publishers will be able to receive credit for views. Hulu will offer select media partners credit for current series streamed on the platform, and will start evaluating the data this month.

The move is a win for both publishers (who will be able to get more accurate viewing numbers that reflect how people access their content) and advertisers (who will get more reliable data when charting campaigns).

“Through capturing this audience, Nielsen is providing publishers, agencies, and advertisers with a better picture of today’s media consumption,” says Megan Clarken, president of product leadership at Nielsen. “The inclusion of video content distributed on Facebook, Hulu, and YouTube in Nielsen Digital Content Ratings is a major accomplishment and part of our ongoing commitment to providing the industry with independent, comprehensive measurement of the evolving consumer landscape.”

One publisher happy about the news is Refinery29, which creates video for young women and distributes over multiple platforms.

“In order to reach this audience in a way that integrates with her lifestyle, we create unique content native to each platform,” says Bart Boughton, senior vice president of revenue operations at Refinery29. “Having the ability to quantify this engagement is critical. Using Nielsen Digital Content Ratings will not only further benefit our understanding of where our audience spends time, but also allows us to share this important information with our partners.”


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