Nielsen has changed the way it measures videos viewed on smartphones and tablets. It previously asked people to self-report how often they viewed videos on their phones or tablets. Now they’re actually measuring their usage. It turns out people do a lot less mobile viewing than they think they do. The more accurate measurements showed that, within Nielsen’s sample group, mobile video viewing at an average of one hour and twenty minutes per month for the final quarter of 2013, down from five hours and twenty three minutes under the previous measuring system. That’s a difference of 538 percent.

Why the discrepancy? People routinely estimate all sorts of things inaccurately, from the amount of calories that they eat to how much money they need to save for retirement. Nielsen knows this, which is why it changed its television viewing measurement system from one based on self-reported diaries to People Meters decades ago. Now technology has improved to the point that the company can do something similar with mobile viewing.

Deadline has more details on the new mobile viewing measurements.


Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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