Nielsen Media Research

Gary Holmes at Nielsen Media Research: (646) 654-8975
Mike Bloxham at Ball State University: (765) 285-0127

New York, NY– October 16, 2006 –The Council for Research Excellence, an independent forum of media industry research experts created by Nielsen Media Research, announced today that it will commission a pilot study by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design (CMD) to observe how individuals consume traditional and emerging video platforms inside and outside the home. The study, proposed jointly by CMD and Sequent Partners, a brand and media metrics consultancy, is intended to help media researchers understand the relative positions of video-based media and how people interact with each of them. The spread of video usage beyond traditional television is an increasingly important issue for research companies such as Nielsen Media Research, which, through its Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative, announced that it intends to offer integrated video measurement across the full range of video platforms.

To conduct the pilot, researchers will directly observe the minute-by-minute activities of sample participants. These observers will categorize participants’ media exposure, life activities, location and attention. The insights derived from the pilot will help researchers assess the viability of a larger project that would be run over a full year which – if pursued – will be designed to inform how different emerging video platforms are approached and prioritized for measurement.

The Council for Research Excellence was created by Nielsen Media Research in 2005, via a dedicated $2.5 million Research and Development fund, and renewed for an additional $2.5 million earlier this year.

The Council serves as an independent forum for Nielsen to gain greater insights into video viewing habits and to ensure that client priorities are reflected in Nielsen’s R&D spending.

“In today’s rapidly evolving media world, it is essential to get a handle on not only what people are doing, but how they are reacting, how their behavior changes over time, and how each emerging technology acquisition fits into their lives and affects how they interact with, and focus their attention on, each medium and its advertising,” said Steve Sternberg, Executive Vice President of Audience Analysis at MAGNA Global, and Co-Chair of the Council’s Media Consumption and Engagement Committee.

“We are obviously delighted to have this opportunity to work with the Council on what will be an initiative of real and long-term importance to the industry,” said Mike Bloxham, Director, Insight and Research at Ball State’s Center for Media Design. “We have worked closely with Jim Spaeth and Bill Moult of Sequent Partners in crafting our approach to this project and we all look forward to working with Council members to make it a success.”

“This study represents an important step toward better understanding how consumers interact with the multitude of new video outlets and devices available to them,” said Mark A. Kaline, Chair, Council for Research Excellence and Global Media Manager for Ford Motor Company. “The insight gained from this study will help paint a clearer picture of today’s multi-tasking and increasingly mobile audience for marketers and the media alike.”

Members of the Media Consumption and Engagement Committee include:

  • Melva Benoit, Sr. VP, Research & Marketing, FOX;
  • Shari Anne Brill, Committee Co-Chair, Vice President, Director of Programming, Carat;
  • Tim Brooks, Executive Vice President, Research, Lifetime;
  • Joanne Burns, Executive VP Marketing Research and New Media, 20th Television;
  • Vicky Champlin, Director Media Planning, Anheuser-Busch;
  • Bruce Goerlich, EVP, Director Strategic Resources, Zenith Optimedia USA;
  • Steve Sternberg, Committee Co-Chair, Executive Vice President, Director of Audience Analysis, MAGNA Global;
  • Jack Wakshlag, Chief Research Officer, Turner Broadcasting.

Also participating on the Media Consumption and Engagement Committee are:

  • Jay Leon (VP Research, Tribune Entertainment);
  • Betsy Frank (formerly EVP, Research and Planning, Viacom);
  • Debbie Reichig (formerly SVP, Sales Strategy, Court TV).

About Nielsen Media Research

Nielsen Media Research is the leading provider of television audience measurement and related services, worldwide. In the United States, Nielsen’s National People Meter service provides audience estimates for all national program sources, including broadcast networks, cable networks, Spanish language networks, and national syndicators. Local ratings estimates are produced for television stations, regional cable networks, MSOs, cable interconnects, and Spanish language stations in each of the 210 television markets in the U.S., including People Meter service in ten markets and electronic set-metered service in 46 markets. For more information, please visit Media Research is a unit of VNU, a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Computing, Intermediair) and trade shows. The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. VNU employs nearly 41,000 people. For more information, visit

About Ball State University and the Center for Media Design

Ball State University, located one hour northeast of Indianapolis in Muncie, Ind., is the third-largest public university in Indiana, with more than 17,700 students.The Center for Media Design (CMD) is a research and development facility focused on the creation, testing and practical application of digital technologies for business, classroom, home and community. Last year, CMD published Middletown Media Studies 2 (MMS2), a unique observational study of people’s exposure to 15 different media and 17 different life activities in an average day – all recorded in 15- second increments.

About Sequent Partners LLC

Sequent Partners is a brand and media metrics consultancy, founded in 2003 by Bill Moult and Jim Spaeth. The company is devoted to helping leading advertisers, media companies and research organizations through an accelerating transition in media. As the Ball State University Center for Media Design scaled up its media business outreach initiative in 2005, Sequent Partners were the first Industry Research Fellows engaged by the Center.