Nielsen reports on 4th screen audience

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Kai Ryssdal: You've seen them at gas stations and at the gym probably. Maybe even in the elevators at work. Small television screens showing news and weather, and more often than not, a whole lot of ads. But really, how many people do you suppose are actually paying attention to those things? Nielsen, the company behind the television rating system, well, they know. They released their first report for those little screens today.

Marketplace's Caitlan Carroll reports.

CAITLAN CARROLL: Advertisers want your attention. And these days they're willing to follow you just about anywhere to get it.

TERRIE BRENNAN: So they're looking for, you know, where's the best screen to reach my consumer?

Terrie Brennan is vice president of New Business Development for Nielsen.

Nielsen tracked the impact of ads you see when you leave the house. But how does the company know when someone running on the treadmill is actually paying attention to what's on the screen in front of her?

BRENNAN: We actually measured the proximity to the machines and that they were actually on the machine and watched the content. And then we asked them to recall what it was that they watched and what they remembered.

Turns out those ads you see when you're exercising sink in.

BOB MARTIN: This report shows that what a quarter billion impressions are generated every month.

Bob Martin is chief marketing officer at RMG Networks. It's one of the 10 networks, including Gas Station TV and the Hotel Networks, that Nielsen included in this report. Martin says the new measurements could help his network sell more ads.

MARTIN: That is absolutely the hope. That is absolutely the expectation.

Brad Adgate is senior vice president of Research at Horizon Media.

BRAD ADGATE: I think also what's very appealing about out-of-home video is that it's closer to where you're going to purchase a product or make brand decisions.

Adgate says ad sales on small screens are still a tiny fraction compared to television. But with these new measurements, companies will be more likely to seek people out when they're off the sofa.

I'm Caitlan Carroll for Marketplace.

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I personally do not agree with the Nielsen report. They are checking digital signage market data in more narrow market and more widely well-known brand products.

Most consumers remember advertising they are watching because advertising products being advertised on digital signage is well-established brand name. If a local cleaning store advertises on these digital signage on hotel TV sets or big monitors on streets, consumers never remember as soon as they pass these monitors.

I have checked personally how well consumers do remembers when they watch ClearChannel big electronic billboards. It turned out that most of drivers do remembers well-known and established brand name because these advertising are also advertised somewhere else. However, if I ask drivers about non-brand ads that run in the entire ClearChannel’s electronic billboards. Then they do not remember. Consumer’s memory is very short.

In fact, the Marketplace aired about ubiquitous advertising not so long ago. Many of brand names are advertising at too many places. Hence, consumers are well aware of their products whether they want or not. That is the effect consumers are getting.

The Nielson report is not accurate and the contents by the Marketplace airing its contradiction, which is the main reason that I do not trust news media writers. I would rather do my own research and investigation.

P.S. I own the digital signage business myself using the most state of art technology.

Toshio Hayakawa

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