Do The Neilson TV Ratings Matter Anymore?

There was a time when Neilson reigned as the king of ratings and advertising money was dependant on where you ranked. But things have changed and the monopoly that Neilson once enjoyed is being challenged. Not because Neilson ratings no longer matter, but because people have left their couches for watching TV on portable devices. Even if you don’t own a portable device, you can still view TV programs on your computer at home or on the road. A few months ago I had a conversation  with a gentleman who had bought a laptop PC with a HDMI connector and was streaming TV programs to his HDTV. So how can Neilson come up with accurate ratings for a generation who is leaving the living room TV for mobile TV watching?

In a recent article it stated that:

Nielsen, the market leader in traditional TV ratings, is having a tough time tracking eyeballs elsewhere. It has yet to offer advertisers an accepted way of measuring viewers who watch video on their home computers — let alone on portable devices.

There are so many different ways today to watch TV programs that it may be difficult for Neilson to keep up. How can you monitor those of us who watch Hulu on their home PC or Hulu Plus on other streaming devices? How can one separate the change in viewing habits that is leaving the traditional TV watching habits stuck in the 1950’s?

Times are changing so fast in the mobile TV market that Neilson may be left in the dust trying to keep up.With companies like Apple, Google, Roku and others who are offering alternatives to traditional TV, 2011 should be the year we see major changes on how we watch the tube.

I know my next laptop computer will have a HDMI output so I can stream directly from Hulu to my HDTV.

How to you get your TV fix?

Comments welcome.

Article Written by

I have been writing for LockerGnome since relocating to Missouri seven years ago, where I continue to be a technology enthusiast who enjoys playing with the newest and latest gadgets.

  • http://www.bytehead.org/blog/ Bryan Price

    Yes, it does matter still. That’s why Stargate Universe isn’t getting a third season from SyFy.

    Nielson hasn’t been actively doing anything with DVRs, which have been out for over 10 years now, let alone online viewing from computers, can we expect them to get caught up with portable devices? I think not.

  • Mark

    Actually Bryan you are quite wrong “Nielsen” or Nielson as you have put has been actively keeping track of dvr’s for about the last 5 years. Since they have become more mainstream and easier to obtain. Also nielsen is now tracking information from three screens such as pc, phones and tv. With the ever changing landscape of technology nielsen still provides their clients with the most relevant data that is obtainable.