The Nielsen Co. and Charter Communications announced today that they have signed an agreement to commercialize the use of anonymous digital set-top box (STB) data for analytical and potential audience measurement purposes for television.
As part of the agreement, Charter is providing Nielsen with anonymous STB viewing data from almost 330,000 households in the Los Angeles area, which Nielsen will develop into commercially available analyses and reports of digital TV viewership.
The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but it is noteworthy that a cable operator is willing to share the viewing habits of its subscribers.
To protect its customers' privacy and maintain the confidentiality of their viewing preferences, Charter will only provide data in an anonymous form to prevent Nielsen from identifying the personal information or identity of any individual Charter customer.
In the same vein, all Nielsen reports will contain only anonymous and aggregated data.
According to the two companies, this research will be the first time that census-level tuning data and panel-based people meter viewing data will be combined to produce expanded household and demographic reporting from a local TV market.
"Charter is committed to improving the precision of local market measurement," said Jim Heneghan, SVP of advertising sales for Charter. "By working with Nielsen, we are ensuring that our advertiser and agency clients get the most reliable data possible to evaluate their media buys."
The information gathered from Charter’s STBs will be available to Nielsen’s clients in the second quarter of this year.
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