Nielsen Realigns Web, Wireless Ops

NEW YORK The Nielsen Co. is combining its NetRatings and BuzzMetrics divisions into a single Web measurement service called Nielsen Online.

Nielsen will also combine Telephia, the telecom measurement service it acquired in June, with other company initiatives into Nielsen Mobile.

NetRatings and BuzzMetrics will keep their separate branding, but Itzhak Fisher, executive chairman of Nielsen Online, said their metrics now can be given to clients side-by-side.

Along with the reorganization, Nielsen Online will also provide deeper demographic data on blogosphere buzz—meaning consumer-generated media around a product or service—as well as hits and time spent on a site featuring a certain product and service. Clients will also be able to see how their buzz stacks up against their competitors’ and get more information on how users are consuming online video.

“Being able to fuse the data sets gives a tremendous value to the consumer,” said Fisher, who was executive chairman of BuzzMetrics. “Before, they just got consumer-generated media or they just got hits, but by bringing all of them together, you get a complete picture.”

Fisher also said that Nielsen, the parent company of Adweek, plans to expand its online panel to more than the 350,000 people currently surveyed, but he declined to provide specifics. He said the company plans to roll out 25 other projects in Q1 2008 that will focus on combining online data with the more traditional Nielsen offline data.

Nielsen Mobile will provide similar information for telecom industry watchers. It will further showcase consumer data about brands and services as well as information about what mobile users are doing with their devices.

Former Telephia CEO Sid Gorham becomes president and CEO of Nielsen Mobile.

Fisher said the initiatives reflect a companywide focus on the importance of online data measurement, which has been a point of emphasis from Nielsen CEO David Calhoun.

“If you want to be a one-stop shop research company, you have to take, hands-on, the trend of people moving to the Web,” Fisher said. “Nielsen is a traditional research company, but the growth is going to come from mobile and online.”