According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Nielson ratings company announced that television content streaming through broadband internet will be calculated starting in Fall 2013 to improve the accuracy of viewing data.
Comprised of representatives from major TV networks, cable networks, local stations and advertisers, the What Nielsen Measures Committee made this decision after a meeting in New York on Tuesday. When the new television season begins in September 2013, Nielsen plans to install new hardware and software tracking devices in nearly all 23,000 homes in which the company collects their TV samples.
Gaming systems like Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 utilizing TV streaming services will also be calculated. By the end of the year, Nielsen plans to be able to measure viewing content on iPads and other tablets as well. The streaming services that will be measured have not been specifically discussed. But Netflix ratings cannot be measured until the popular streaming service allows Nielsen to encode their software to track viewing.
With the recent announcement of the Billboard Top 100 music chart incorporating Youtube views into their ranking system, data companies seem to be accepting the importance of internet streaming. The next obstacle: DVRs.