Nielsen aims to track all online media

6 Dec 2007

With a new service called Nielsen Digital Media Manager, ratings tracker Nielsen has teamed up with tech firm DigiMarc to help companies enforce copyright on online videos through digital fingerprinting and watermarking.

With this service Nielsen hopes to “establish an industry-wide rules-based solution to copyright security and to assure copyright compliance,” according to its official press release.

What this means for the ordinary user of online media is that Media Manager would allow content producers to keep tabs on all of their media down to being able to tell if someone has used a tiny clip of their audio in a ‘mash-up’ video for their personal webpage.

Presently, video sharing and uploading sites like YouTube and MySpace are testing similar methods. YouTube’s Claim Your Content is a video recognition technology that automatically shuts down a video if illegally distributed on its site.

However, Nielsen’s new service, which is expected to roll out mid-2008, would be able to track online content all across the internet.

David Calhoun, chairman and CEO of the Nielsen Company, said he believes this digital watermarking and fingerprinting will actually stimulate the growth of online video distribution.

“Until now, the lack of an independent, industry-accepted identification and tracking service has limited the transactions that allow the delivery of media content over the internet.

“Now with our new media identification and management service’s unique ability to identify content throughout the internet, both content providers and distributors can protect and monetise the value of online media,” he said.

This means that content distributors like social networking sites Facebook and Bebo can ensure users do not upload and share copyright material, while content owners can identify exactly where their material is being used, shared, viewed or accessed.

By Marie Boran