Nielsen starts counting TiVo viewers

Nielsen has begun measuring playback on digital video recorders, and the first results are handing a big lift to some of TV’s top shows.

The dramatic boost some shows received indicates just how much of a paradigm shift DVRs are, even at their current low market penetration. DVRs are going to create huge changes in how networks program their shows.

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  • amedia

    Yay! You know, *ages* ago, when TiVo first revealed that it was reporting more info than it said it was, a lot of folks were mad about the invasion of privacy, but I was happy – it was like being a Nielsen family! Finally, the nerds have a voice! :-)

  • anonymous

    I’m not sure that this is accurate. I was under the impression that TiVo and Neilsen did not have an agreement and were competing for data services. From what I understand there is controversy surrounding how Neilsen is calculating the ratings whereas TiVo provides second by second aggregate analysis. I could be wrong, but I think this may be a case where DVR is being confused as a TiVo and we all know that there is a big difference.


  • megazone

    TiVo and Nielsen have had an agreement for quite a while now. The first phase was an opt-in program where random TiVo owners were asked if they were willing to be Nielsen families. Instead of getting a Nielsen box the TiVo is used to gather viewing data. I believe it has expanded a bit since then to use more of TiVo’s data.

  • excaliburca

    Out of curiousity, is there any way you could opt in as as Nielsen family as the TiVo has the ability to transmit the data anyway?

  • megazone

    No, you have to be one of the invited households. Nielsen picks who they want and invites them, otherwise they could get games by fans of a specific show opting in, etc.

  • mryn

    Do we know how many active TiVo/Nielsen households exist?

  • megazone

    I’m not sure, I vaguely remember 10,000 at one point but that could be my faulty memory.