Nielsen Will Measure Google's YouTube in 2014

Gold standard Nielsen ratings could boost YouTube credibility with advertisers.

The YouTube logo is seen on a tablet screen on Dec. 4, 2012, in Paris.
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Digital video is surfing closer to the mainstream of the media industry as Nielsen Holdings plans to apply its cornerstone advertising measurements to Google properties, which could bolster YouTube's advertising and content quality.

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Google plans to conduct a brief testing period and have the measurement tags accepted by early 2014 across all its properties, including YouTube, says a spokesperson for Nielsen on Tuesday. The market research company's policy does not allow its spokespeople to be cited by name.

"We are pleased that Google has added Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings as a certified measurement provider; this is just one example of how Nielsen and Google are collaborating for the benefit of our shared clients," the Nielsen spokesperson says. "This development is further evidence of the momentum and broad marketplace support for our efforts to deliver independent measurement of advertising campaigns across distribution platforms."

Nielsen's tags allow marketers to track how many people view their online ads and how often. Google builds its own measurement options, but is also partnering with analytics company comScore, along with Nielsen, to offer objective, credentialed, third-party measurement options, according to Google's official company statement provided by spokesperson Andrea Faville.

"We know our clients want meaningful measurement, which is why we're investing in brand-friendly metrics," the official statement says.

Incorporating Nielsen's ratings across Google properties could provide an advertising revenue boost for the tech giant by attracting a more diverse set of marketers to the evolving digital advertising space, predicts Karsten Weide, a media analyst at Gartner market research firm.

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"It's definitely an important step for YouTube since Nielsen is the gold standard for TV measurement," Weide says.

Advertising on YouTube has already been a success story since the video website overcame shortages of content in the past when Google offered 55 percent cut of advertising revenue from the video portal to online-only content providers, Weide says. Google has also created its own content for the video website, including the YouTube Music Awards on Nov. 3.

"The advertising revenue on YouTube has steadily increased in recent years," Weide explains. "The quality of YouTube content is also increasing." This partnership between Nielsen, comScore and Google is further proof of the boom in digital video, illustrated also by a report on Monday that the combined traffic of Netflix and YouTube accounts for 50 percent of all data transferred on fixed broadband networks in the U.S., according to telecom equipment company Sandvine.

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