New Heavyweight Media Consortium Seeks Better TV Metrics

Dissatisfied with the current state of cross-platform television audience measurement, a group of major media and advertising executives has formed a consortium to come up with better metrics.

According to Broadcast & Cable’s Claire Atkinson, the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement is “widely seen as an attempt to either bypass Nielsen (Media Research) or to push it towards more speedy progress in the realm of online video and mobile measurement data collection.”

Coalition members include:

* Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO, Time Warner
* George Bodenheimer, President of ESPN and ABC Sports, and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks
* Philippe Dauman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Viacom
* Dina Howell, Vice President, Global Media & Brand Operations, The Procter & Gamble Company
* Esther Lee, Senior Vice President, Brand Marketing and Advertising, AT&T
* Anne Sweeney, President, Disney-ABC Television Group and co-chair, Disney Media Networks
* Page Thompson, CEO, North America, Omnicom Media Group
* Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal

Not exactly a cubicle-farm collection of talent. As Atkinson puts it:

That so many senior level executives, rather than their research counterparts, have put their name to this effort goes some way to showing how serious the industry is about forming a new vision on how to count and charge for audiences watching TV shows on new platforms. The group intends to hire a managing director to pull that vision together.

Nielsen itself lately has been pushing its “three-screen” audience measurement initiative. Last week the company released a report on Q2 video consumption habits on television, the Internet and mobile devices. And on Wednesday Nielsen announced an “Internet meter” designed to measure Web television viewership, but that it wouldn’t be fully implemented until 2011.

Which probably seems a long way off for advertisers and broadcasters desperate to sort out a winning revenue model for online video.