Nielsen and ABC’s Innovative iPad App Connects New Generation of Viewers


Sid Gorham, Nielsen’s EVP, Strategy and Business Development

With today’s announcement of the first live application on Nielsen’s new Media-Sync Platform, I’m sure some are wondering, “How did Nielsen get involved in launching an iPad app with ABC?”

The answer is simple really. We saw the opportunity to leverage our world-class technology to help bring TV viewers closer to their favorite shows.

At a time when consumers are more sophisticated than ever and networks and advertisers are looking for ways to deepen engagement with their audiences, they are turning to Nielsen for help in better understanding the connected consumer in an increasing fragmented media landscape.

In Q1 2010, Nielsen data showed that nearly 60% of people were watching TV and using the Internet on their computers simultaneously. With more and more consumers going on online while they watch TV, many viewers have already been engaging in a two-screen experience, primarily using social media for ‘background chatter,’ or activity in the margins.

Further to that, we know from a Nielsen survey last month of more than 4,000 mobile subscribers who reported downloading a mobile app in the previous 30 days, that social networking apps are among the most popular, with 49% of smartphone users and 32% of feature phone users reporting to have used one in the past 30 days. As connected devices such as touchscreen tablets gain in popularity, mobile apps are likely to flourish there as well.

However, the question is: how can content producers and broadcasters leverage this to more closely connect with TV fans and bridge the gap between consumers and advertising?

That’s why I’m so excited about the launch of our first-of-its-kind iPad application, developed with Disney/ABC, for the September 23rd premiere of ABC’s new primetime drama, “My Generation.” Nielsen’s ability to not only deliver the best, most comprehensive audience research services, but also to open up our technology to develop an innovative sync-to-broadcast app that appeals to both TV fans and advertisers, is key in answering this question and providing exciting a new way to connect viewers with content.

Built on Nielsen’s new Media-Sync Platform, which allows mobile applications to automatically detect and synchronize with TV programming using Nielsen’s proprietary audio watermarks, ABC’s My Generation Sync iPad app will enhance the experience of watching “My Generation” by providing synchronized interactive content and social media functionality on the iPad. Now available in the Apple iTunes App Store, the app allows fans of the new ABC series to unlock content and features, as well as connect in real-time with other viewers of the program through social networks.

The most powerful social opportunities for television programming will be related to specific compelling elements of individual TV shows. Whether it’s sharing comments and interacting with other viewers, or unlocking related content and additional engagement opportunities within and between social networks, we believe this will pave the way to fundamentally change the way consumers interact with TV programs and advertisements.

We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the industry to develop more exciting ways to enhance the new consumer media experience.

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