Nielsen humming “Every Breath You Take” on Radio Free Europe Google

We are just noticing something: This is the era of content coming at you from fifty different directions (What to consume next? My iPod episode of “Lost”? A little Bob Dylan on XM satellite radio, my Google video of CSI, or my Verizon mobicast of “24?” Hmmm…) And that means measuring who’s watching what (and when) is getting ever harder.

Who’s watching what, when is of justifiable concern to advertisers paying billions for TV spots – ads which TV networks claim to have millions rapt, hanging on their every word.

Well today, a blow was struck for the advertisers – who’ve until now had to take the networks at their word that their spots were really seen by the amount of people that the networks claim are watching.

(We know, you were just thinking: How can I make sure faceless multinationals are getting treated fairly at the hands of the merciless oligarchs who run media monoliths? We were, too.)ontv.jpg

For starters, there was Nielsen’s deal to buy into BuzzMetrics, which basically means advertisers will know how many souls are watching a show on a minute to minute basis – instead of relying on Nielsen’s so-last-century quarter-hour basis. Very “Truman Show,” if you ask us.

Old Radio-783472.jpgAnd just as curiously, as Nielsen gets more and more high tech, Google is behaving a lot more like a traditional media company: Today, the web’s front door announced that it is getting into radio advertising. Soon, Google will offer media buyers every platform: Internet, print and broadcast.

We wonder, though, at what point the Department of Justice might start to look at Google in the same curious, anti-trusty way it once did at Microsoft. You, kind of like Forest Whitaker looks at Michael Chiklis on this season of “The Shield”?

Sorta like that – except without the lazy eye.