AOL says it will become the first digital publisher to use Nielsen's TV metrics to quantify its video shows for advertisers - a move that may expose it to comparatively lowly perception by comparison but which could allow it to seek a slice of the $70 billion US TV industry.
"We are the first non-TV-originated publisher that is going to adopt (TV-style) 'ratings'," AOL's video president Ran Harnevo tells Beet.TV. "All of our new shows are going to have TV 'ratings' - the word is going to go away it's just going to be 'ratings'."
Traditionally, online video has been measured in hard views whilst TV is quantified by gross rating points. Now there is a move in online media for these ratings metrics which, though they are more old-fashioned, open a familiar gate for TV ad buyers to walk through.
"It's a powerful way to measure everything on an apples-to-apples basis and help TV buyers understand the web better," Harnevo says. "Ratings is going to help everyone converge. In two years, it's going to be the standard.
"Our most successful ep(isode) has had 4.5m users watching it - that's cable numbers, (but) advertisers can't tell how to compare that show to a show like Glee. Maybe some of our shows are going to have very low 'ratings' in the beginning - we're taking it for the long term."
News of the AOL/Nielsen alliance was first reported in the Wall Street Journal
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