Nielsen Press Release http://www.nielsen.com/media/2008/pr_080225.html

New York, NY, February 25, 2008 – The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), an independent forum of media industry research experts created by The Nielsen Company, announced today that it will commission a year-long 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 Video Consumer Mapping Study, to be conducted jointly by CMD and Sequent Partners, a brand and media metrics consultancy, is intended to establish how media—especially television and video—are consumed across multiple platforms, in order to develop best practices in the area of video media measurement.

To conduct the Video Consumer Mapping Study, researchers will directly observe the activities of sample participants, recording them, with computer assistance, in 10-second intervals throughout their waking day.  These observers will categorize participants’ media exposure within the context of their daily activities, location and attention. A sample of 350 people will be measured twice over a six-month period in five major markets: Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seattle.

In addition to that core sample, another 100 people, located in the Indianapolis market, will be observed both before and after the Media Acceleration Process, a research method developed by Ball State and Sequent Partners that will help to anticipate adoption and usage of emerging technologies and their impact on existing technologies.

The decision to proceed with a comprehensive study of media usage follows upon the successful completion of a pilot study conducted by Ball State and Sequent Partners in 2007.  That study demonstrated that observational techniques can capture a respondent’s usage for the entire day and that it is possible to include in the study all relevant consumer segments, including high-tech and ethnically diverse respondents.

The Council for Research Excellence was created by The Nielsen Company in 2005, via a dedicated $2.5 million R&D fund.  To date, Nielsen has committed $7.5 million to the Council, which serves as an independent forum for Nielsen to gain greater insights and to ensure that client priorities are reflected in Nielsen’s R&D spending.

“The migration of video usage beyond traditional television is an increasingly important issue for media companies, advertisers and their agencies,” said Paul Donato, Chief Research Officer for The Nielsen Company.  “In a world where people increasingly watch programming online, on mobile devices and outside the home, this study will help us better understand how people are changing the way they consume media so that we can make informed decisions on how to measure it.”

“On behalf of Steve Sternberg (Magna Global), who served as co-chair through the completion of the pilot study, and the Media Consumption and Engagement Committee, we are thrilled to be partnering with Ball State and Sequent Partners,” said Shari Anne Brill, Senior Vice President and Director of Programming at Carat. “This groundbreaking study will give us a detailed blueprint of consumers’ access of media content across all screens, platforms and locations throughout their waking day. The addition of the acceleration component will shed light on which platforms are more likely to gain consumer acceptance along with how these technologies will impact media usage behavior. These research findings will also help to identify (and possibly close) the gaps in Nielsen’s video measurement systems.  Separately, we would like to thank Nielsen for its ongoing support of the CRE and its financial commitment to a study that none of us could afford to execute individually.”

“The breadth and depth of the insights delivered by our observational method when applied on this scale will make a real and lasting contribution to the industry’s understanding of how media consumption and use is evolving,” said Mike Bloxham, Director, Insight and Research at Ball State’s Center for Media Design. “The findings will provide an important platform for analysis and debate as the Council pursues its mission to inform future best practices in cross-platform video measurement.  Ball State and Sequent Partners are extremely proud to be working with the Council in this capacity on such a major and groundbreaking study.”

For more information on the study and the Council for Research Excellence, please visit: www.researchexcellence.com.

About The Nielsen Company

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), online intelligence (NetRatings and BuzzMetrics), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.nielsen.com.

About Ball State University and the Center for Media Design

Ball State University is redefining education by providing relevant immersive learning experiences that engage high-caliber students in intense interdisciplinary projects both in and out of the classroom. Ball State’s expert, collaborative faculty members mentor students and encourage innovation and creativity in education. Located in Muncie, Indiana, a mid-sized city one hour northeast of Indianapolis, Ball State’s vibrant campus is home to more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country and abroad. Learn more at www.bsu.edu.

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.  Since 2003, CMD has used its unique observational method to study people’s media exposure and use – typically tracking use of 15 different media and 17 different life activities in an average day.  This work has led to a number of publications and projects.  For more information, please visit, www.bsu.edu/cmd.

About Sequent Partners LLC

Started in mid-2003 as a brand-building metrics consultancy, the marketplace need for enlightened experience in media metrics shifted Sequent Partners’ time and attention almost entirely to helping leading advertisers, leading media companies, and leading research organizations through an accelerating transition in media. Retaining the perspective of media’s importance in building brands, Sequent Partners has become a brand and media metrics consultancy.

Though most Sequent Partners’ assignments are confidential, the partners’ publicly recognized roles in Project Apollo and Ball State’s Middletown Media Studies are illustrative of their focus on helping a range of clients adapt to – and help lead – the changing media landscape and associated media measurement innovation. As the Ball State University Center for Media Design scaled up its media business outreach initiative in 2005, Sequent Partners’ Founders Bill Moult and Jim Spaeth were the first Industry Research Fellows engaged by the Center.

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