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Nielsen Forms Set-Top Venture

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NEW YORK The Nielsen Co. has formed a new unit that will work with cable operators and satellite TV companies to analyze viewing data from set-top boxes, the company said today.

Nielsen DigitalPlus will analyze the set-top box data to create new insights and services for clients by integrating set top box data with other Nielsen information, including the national and local TV ratings produced by Nielsen Media Research.

Adweek is a unit of the Nielsen Co.

The DigitalPlus unit will also layer ad tracking data from Nielsen Monitor-Plus and consumer purchasing information from A.C. Nielsen into its analysis, as well as the modeling and forecasting capabilities of Bases, Claritas and Spectra.

"With our wide array of media and marketing information services, expertise in advanced technology, and experience working with large volumes of data, Nielsen is uniquely positioned to help clients unlock the potential of set top box data," said Jed Meyer, svp, Nielsen DigitalPlus.

"As the industry begins to analyze and use the vast amount of information available through these devices, Nielsen will work with clients to develop comprehensive solutions to this new frontier of measurement. We are intensely focused on using all our resources to succeed at this challenge."

Meyer reports to Sara Erichson, gm, national services, at Nielsen Media Research.

Several media research companies are already conducting the set-top box analysis, including Nielsen competitor TNS Media Intelligence, which is working with a handful of mostly cable network clients to analyze viewing behavior via 300,000 Charter Communications homes in the Los Angeles area. ErinMedia in New York is also talking to cable operators about similar projects.