Nielsen’s Social Index To Include Facebook Data; Verizon Go90 Disappoints

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Social Friends

Nielsen scored a measurement coup: Starting next week its Social Index, which measures the engagement and activity of TV-viewing audiences on social media, will include Facebook data (previously it was just Twitter), with plans to incorporate Instagram as well. “Nielsen claims to be the first outside company granted access to Facebook’s public and private pages, using an algorithm that tracks not just show titles and hashtags but actor and character names mentioned in isolation,” reports USA Today. There are restrictions, of course – Nielsen won’t be able to trace data to specific users and doesn’t have visibility into Facebook Messenger chats – but it shows the walled platform still has an open side. More.

Keep On Going

Advertisers are disappointed with Verizon go90, Mike Shields reports for The Wall Street Journal. Despite a showy launch at last year’s AOL upfront [AdExchanger coverage] and a promise to lure younger audiences with short-form video, go90 has struggled to grow its user base. That’s partly because a standalone app has to fight tooth and nail for recognition. Few other than YouTube, Netflix and Facebook have cracked streaming video audiences. But there is a real opportunity for AOL’s ad tech stack to extract value from go90, if it can grow the user base. More.

Buying On Delay

Aside from live events (i.e., sports games, award shows and the Olympics), TV viewership is starting to look like a “long tail” of tracking data. NBCUniversal research President Nathan Wurtzel broke out viewership numbers for the new program “Shades of Blue” at a recent press event, and the live or near-live viewer numbers (TV buys are usually made on a three- or seven-day timeline) show a median age of 55. But if you wait a cycle, the median age drops to 35 and the median income jumps by more than $10,000. “I don’t know why rich people watch TV later, but they do,” Wurtzel said, according to Adweek. The early bird gets the worm, but who wants the worm? More.

The Hulu Alliance

On Time Warner’s earnings call Wednesday, CFO Howard Averill confirmed that the cable giant had finalized a $583 million deal for 10% of Hulu. Hulu is thought to be losing hundreds of millions of dollars per year and pushed Time Warner to take a 25% stake, reports Recode’s Peter Kafka. More than ever, Hulu now seems like the legacy media bulwark against Netflix’s ascent in streaming entertainment, as Time Warner joins Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal (owned by Time Warner’s biggest competitor, Comcast) in the Hulu owner’s club. Strange bedfellows need a bed, and in this case that bed is Hulu. More.

The Games Have Already Begun

Social media platforms have started their own Olympic competition: Who can offer the most extensive and innovative coverage? Facebook’s latest moves involve a section of its news feed dedicated to posts about the games and profile picture graphics branded with the Rio 2016 logo, TechCrunch reports. Facebook will also leverage one of the (now many) Snapchat copycat tools in its arsenal: Users will be able to impose American flag face masks on their pictures with the video and image filter app MSQRD, which Facebook acquired in February. Facebook’s focus on the Olympics comes as Twitter pushes hard to own sports news and live streaming. More.

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