Nielsen to Gather Online Advertising Audience Measurement Data from Facebook

Nielsen Media Research plans to release a new online advertising audience measurement service, and it has secured existing partner Facebook as its first participant from which it will collect data, according to The Wall Street Journal. This online gross ratings points system would track frequency and reach, similar to Nielsen’s television ratings system.

The service may track age, gender, and possibly location of people seeing online ads in anonymous aggregate form. The results would provide advertisers with more exact measurement of who is seeing their ads, which may encourage them to shift spend towards the internet.

Nielsen would merge data from Facebook and other participating websites with its demographic panel data to create the ratings system. Marketers including Proctor & Gamble, as well as media buyer Publicis Groupe S.A.’s Starcom MediaVest have signed on as early testers for the research, according to the report. These and many others spending on advertising have been looking for better ways to measure online advertising.

While advertisers are realizing social media is an important element of marketing campaigns, the dearth of concrete metrics on reach have made some hesitant to pull dollars away from mediums like television which have more established measurement systems. Current online measurement metrics like site traffic and clicks aren’t sufficient for determining the audience of display ads.

Facebook stands to gain from Nielsen’s new rating system: third-party analysis of the company’s data, that shows results for advertisers, in turn make Facebook’s advertising products look more promising.