Nielsen Begins Tracking Premium Theatrical Films Being Distributed On Streaming Platforms

A couple sits on a couch in front of a television set while searching for something entertaining to watch.

The service gives the movie industry a wide array of consumer data and actionable insights for the new form of entertainment distribution.

On Tuesday, Nielsen announced that it is launching its Theatrical Video-On-Demand (TVOD) measurement service. It will serve as a way to monitor new movie releases that are directly available to consumers to rent or purchase on-demand through streaming and MVPD platforms. Often offered at premium pricing, this rapidly expanding distribution model of film releases was accelerated by COVID-19 early in 2020. Content creators, such as studios, sought to offset disruption caused by social distancing mandates that temporarily closed movie theaters across the United States.

The evolution of theatrical distribution, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, has introduced a new opportunity for both consumers and content owners. With the delivery of newly released movies directly to viewers in the comfort of their own homes, the entire media food chain, from studios to talent, has a need to analyze the volume and reach of their audiences. Information about the household and viewers’ characteristics, such as age and gender, ethnicity, or even territory, will be detailed in the service report.

Nielsen’s TVOD measurement service will help clients uncover information about the consumers streaming the premium content. The company will collect a detailed review of viewer demographics and behavioral information, which will go beyond the consumer data provided by the box office metrics and transactional rental services. The information will be crucial for audience-driven decisions concerning media licensing and promotion.

The past year, underpinned by COVID-19 related uncertainty, has changed consumer behavior, driving a rise in streaming consumption. Streaming now accounts for nearly a quarter (23%) of total usage among OTT capable homes, up from 21% just a year prior. A much broader swath of consumers has enabled streaming capabilities, presenting a new opportunity to deliver this form of entertainment directly.

“As this unprecedented pandemic continues to influence consumer behavior, perhaps even through a prolonged state of recovery waves. Being able to measure and help clients appropriately monetize new revenue streams has never been more crucial,” said Scott N. Brown, the General Manager of Audience Measurement for Nielsen.

“A bigger question might be what will audiences do following any recovery, how the behavior adopted during stay-at-home orders might influence habits when consumers have the ability to go back to theaters to enjoy that experience and how content creators will leverage data to make the best decisions regarding distribution platforms in the future.”

Nielsen Holdings plc is a global measurement and data analytics company. They provide the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen is divided into two business units:

Nielsen Global Media provides the media and advertising industries with unbiased and reliable metrics. This helps create a shared understanding of the industry, which is required for markets to function.

Nielsen Global Connect (NielsenIQ) provides consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers with accurate, actionable information and insights and a complete picture of the complex and changing marketplace that companies need to innovate and grow.

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