Nielsen formally launched its new division for measuring out-of-home video with the unveiling yesterday of Nielsen On Location Media. On Location's measurements will essentially combine traffic estimates from Nielsen InStore and a variety of other quantitative data, including "health club membership swipes, gas pump transactions, ticket sales, and interactive plays," says Paul Lindstrom, the senior vice president of the new division.Our take:
It will also draw on the expertise and resources of Nielsen Strategic Media Research, which has conducted custom studies for place-based video networks for over two decades.
The new service debuted with a number of network clients already signed up, including Health Club TV, owned by IdeaCast, Gas Station TV, the Arena Media Network, Buzztime, OnSpot and Airline TV, also owned by IdeaCast.
The first report from Nielsen On Location will cover Health Club TV's displays in 1,000 health clubs around the country. In addition to the place-based networks, Nielsen On Location has also signed up Hotel Networks, which delivers a package of 10 premium cable channels to hotels, selling national and local advertising across these channels.
While this news likely doesn't come as a surprise to those heavily involved in the digital signage industry, it should give some comfort to advertisers who might like to get more involved in digital out-of-home advertising than they currently are, but feel constrained by the lack of research done by credible and well-known firms like Nielsen or Arbitron.
The wide array of networks that have signed up for the service so far should also help the company quickly find its legs in this unique market. After all, measurement techniques at gas stations will need to be at least somewhat different from those in retail stores or health clubs. But by working with all of these different kinds of networks from the start, Nielsen has sent a message that unified reporting of the value of all sorts of digital signage networks is possible. Now all that remains to see is whether it'll be profitable for the firm.