NBC Uses Olympics to Test Measures of New Media

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Wall Street Journal

NBC calls it “the world’s biggest focus group.”

With an estimated 185 million unique viewers over a 17-day period, the Olympic Games provide a special audience microcosm, and one that NBC believes will be particularly useful for measuring new-media consumption habits and trends.

NBC touts all the different platforms it is bringing to bear for the Games, which began Friday in Vancouver. Viewers can watch on the network, NBC Universal’s many cable channels and NBCOlympics.com. They can download clips to their iPhones and receive mobile updates on a favorite skier or figure skater.

Alan Wurtzel, NBC Universal’s head of research, predicts big shifts in viewership habits compared with the last Olympics More…