Nielsen's data deal with Vizio now includes 20 million smart TVs

Nielsen today expanded its smart TV data deal with Vizio to include approximately 20 million U.S. connected TVs. Nielsen can now integrate Vizio’s Inscape data for both its local and national audience measurement solutions.

Inscape, a subsidiary of Vizio, specializes in automated content recognition (ACR) software for smart TV original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Nielsen initially struck a deal with Inscape in 2021 for national addressable measurement. That deal now allows Nielsen to tap into data from local U.S. markets – incremental coverage for about 400 local stations.

“Having millions of devices covered by ACR is incredible for our audience measurement, and when these big data sets are verified and enhanced by real human behavior, which only Nielsen can do, this represents the future of media measurement,” said Peter Bradbury, chief commercial officer at Nielsen, in a statement.

Nielsen primarily collects its TV data using surveys and panels that represent a subset of the domestic viewer population. These methods have recently been scrutinized for producing alleged unreliable ratings, and the Media Ratings Council suspended Nielsen’s accreditations in September. Access to Inscape data may be a way for Nielsen to regain its footing in the audience measurement space.

Nielsen can use Inscape data to determine what’s missing in big data sets, including validation of diverse representation, understanding when the TV is on or off and other statistics.

“As viewing trends shift and audiences fragment across different services, Inscape has been at the forefront of powering products that are better for the consumer experience and bringing greater transparency and scale to the measurement sector,” said Mike O’Donnell, chief revenue and engagement officer at Vizio. “We’re excited to work with Nielsen and for the inclusion of our opted-in viewing data in Nielsen’s services as we continue to help the entire TV marketplace evolve.”

Nielsen plans to launch big data into its national TV measurement in September. The data inclusion will be a key step in the launch of Nielsen One, the company’s cross-platform measurement solution. The platform will officially roll out sometime in Q4 2022, but several companies signed on for Nielsen One’s alpha launch at the end of last year, including Disney and Magna.

As Nielsen works to improve its audience metrics, the company also faces new corporate leadership. A group of private equity firms, including Elliott Management, bought Nielsen for $16 billion in March.