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AOL Announces 16 Original Programs At The 2014 Digital Content NewFronts; Nielsen To Measure All 16 Shows Using Digital Ratings For True Comparability To TV

AOL Inc. today announced its 2014 slate of original programming at its Digital Content NewFront in Brooklyn, reaffirming its long-term commitment to creating premium shows with authentic storytelling. Featuring talent and producers such as James Franco, Steve Buscemi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zoe Saldana, and Ellen DeGeneres, the shows will span topics from family and comedy to business and technology, and will also include AOL’s first long-form series, “Connected.” AOL’s 16 original shows will premiere throughout the year on The AOL On Network, the leading video network for premium, curated content on the Web.

In a deal that is the first of its kind, AOL and Nielsen announced that AOL has signed on to participate in a beta that will provide truly TV-comparable audience measurement across all of AOL’s new series. The Nielsen beta will deliver GRPs (gross ratings points) that reflect the audience reach by age and gender for AOL’s new programming as an extension of Nielsen Digital Program Ratings, which currently measures TV-originated content viewed online. In addition to measuring content, AOL will be tagging associated advertising using Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings™; the combination of audience measurement across ‘digital-first’ content and related advertising will make it possible for complete audience comparisons to TV for the first time.

“We are fully committed to producing premium content at scale,” said Ran Harnevo, President of AOL Video. “Premium content is premium content, regardless of screen, delivery, length, or format, and our relationship with Nielsen signifies that understanding. As TV and digital continue to merge into one ecosystem, we believe in one standard form of measurement, and we’re proud to be the first digital client to work with Nielsen to make this vision a reality.”

“In our experience, compelling, high-quality content always finds an audience. The key is putting in place the independent measurement that instills advertiser confidence,“ said Nielsen’s Steve Hasker, President, Global Product Leadership. “AOL’s involvement in this beta for the next phase of Nielsen Digital Program Ratings is another milestone in leveling the field for TV and digital video programming, and brings the added accountability and verification to the digital video market that advertisers demand.”

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