Nielsen’s Gracenote launches data offering for FAST channels, vMVPDs

Nielsen’s Gracenote is serving up a new data offering for streaming content discovery platforms to help them connect consumers to free ad-supported TV channels and linear channels on virtual MVPDs.

Gracenote is Nielsen’s entertainment metadata arm, and the Streaming Channels Data product gives content aggregators access to the company’s database of schedules for linear streaming channels. The airings include a Gracenote ID, along with normalized channel and program metadata bolstered by imagery, descriptions and celebrity information.

According to Gracenote, the dataset helps improve the user experience by enabling more personalized program recommendations across different services while also boosting content discoverability.

“As consumers look for free ad-supported TV content to complement their on-demand services, easy integration and discovery options become more important than ever for aggregator platforms,” said Simon Adams, chief product officer at Gracenote, in a statement. “By solving for these challenges, Gracenote Streaming Channels Data helps platform customers work towards optimizing their user experiences and securing their positions as go-to destinations for viewers.”

The company pointed out that FAST channels often have a theme and sometimes only last for a specific period of time, such as a channel dedicated to TV programming during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month. Because of its specific time window, quick discovery and integration of the FAST channel is key.

The new data solution comes as streaming hit a new high for its share of total U.S. TV viewing in April. Nielsen’s monthly snapshot The Gauge found streaming accounted for 30.4% of TV usage last month, compared to 36.8% for cable and 24.7% for broadcast.

Discovery is also key as consumers toggle between streaming services to find the content they want. A survey by Hub Entertainment Research found that consumers need at least four streaming services before more than half feel satisfied that their TV needs are met. It takes eight or more before a strong majority (69%) feel their combo of streaming services meet TV lineup needs “very well.”