B&T: Local online universe expands as Nielsen enhances its ratings

Nielsen has made major enhancements to its online ratings system as it moves towards daily and cross-platform audience measurement, by culling inactive users from its panel and finding another two million online Australians.

The multi-million dollar global and local investment has seen a new scalable data processing platform put it into play.

The rules for the panel that Nielsen Online Ratings uses have also been tightened, with 'inactive' panellists to be removed. Nielsen said it will track and remove 'inactive' users on a daily bases unless they are genuinely people who simply don't use the internet.

The focus has also changed from managing panellists at a household level to managing them individually.

As a result of the changes, the number of average internet users per month has increased by 1.3 million. The Australian 'online universe' has also increased by two million to reach 17.5 million people.

Dr Stuart Pike, Nielsen's executive director of digital audience measurement, said: "These enhancements are important to ensure we can deliver monthly Nielsen Online Ratings data to the market quicker and be ready over time to move towards daily unique audience data and include panel data for mobile and tablet web consumption."

"The panel makeup has not changed, but the way Nielsen collects and interprets this data has been enhanced to account for the change in consumer behaviour – away from just computers and towards mobile devices."

Monique Perry, head of media for Nielsen, added: "What the industry has built here is globally best in class, and Nielsen is deploying it here in Australia first."

Gai Le Roy, director of research at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), said the IAB was pleased to see a more accurate picture of the digital audience figures being launched.

"The combination of improving the rules around panelists eligibility and an improved, more flexible processing system is a positive move for the market."

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