October 21, 2019
Nielsen reportedly can now track viewership trends for Amazon Prime Video original content with the same software launched two years ago — with much fanfare — to track Netflix’s domestic TV viewing trends.
Nielsen markets the “Subscription Video on Demand Content Ratings” software to content clients tracking their programming on third-party SVOD platforms.
“This is a significant milestone for Nielsen, especially considering the upcoming high-profile streaming service launches,” Brian Fuhrer, SVP product leadership at Nielsen, said in a statement. “We think the addition of Amazon Prime Video will allow rights owners an added ability to understand both the size, as well as the composition, of their streaming audiences relative to other platforms or programs.”
While Amazon hasn’t commented on the data disclosure, SVOD rival Netflix contends Nielsen’s data is incomplete because it does not account for portable devices and desktop viewing, in addition to global audiences.
But for Sony Pictures Television, Nielsen’s data for “The Boys,” which it co-produces with Amazon Studios, is invaluable. The series attracted 4.1 million Prime households per episode over the first 10 days of release — in addition to 6 million for the premiere episode.
“Nielsen has the ability to help us understand what these audiences are doing outside of those platforms as well — how and what they are watching on other on-demand and linear services,” James Petretti, SVP, U.S. research and analytics at Sony Pictures Television, said in a media statement.
Regardless, Nielsen’s viewership tracking of Prime Video and Netflix content does not necessarily fit into the marketing plans for the SVOD giants, according to Jeffrey Lodgson, media analyst at JBL Advisors.
“[Public ratings] would not serve Netflix’s plan or perspective on the entertainment universe,” Logsdon told TechCrunch. “Talent may try to use viewership numbers to extract higher compensation than a more simplistic renewal process.”