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Nielsen to add web viewers to future TV ratings, with a little help from Facebook

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After several months of testing within the industry, Nielsen is finally ready to reveal its efforts to bake mobile viewing habits into its TV ratings system. In a wider roll-out of what the company already monitors, it'll launch an SDK for participating broadcasters in mid-November that will encompass both old-fashioned screens and those not-so-new upstarts (including DVRs, internet-connected TVs, tablets, smartphones and browsers). To work out which stream is being watched where, Nielsen will parse together "big data and a census-style measurement approach." This will apparently match demographic information through social networks, mentioning Facebook explicitly -- the ratings monitor is already involved with Twitter. It'll also know exactly which device viewers are watching content on thanks to "audio watermarks, metadata or tags associated with the content and related advertising." The aim, after all this work, is for Nielsen to accurately reveal who's watching TV ads and, concurrently, who's watching Scandal elsewhere.

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