Nielson plans to find out just how many of us stay tuned for the commercials.

Nielsen Media Research, the firm that calculates national television ratings, plans to answer one of advertising’s most pressing questions: How many people actually watch TV commercials? In November, Nielsen will begin for the first time to provide formal ratings for commercial breaks, a move with far-reaching implications for the fast-changing media world. Both TV networks and advertisers expect the new Nielsen ratings will show that viewership declines noticeably when a program breaks for commercials. A particularly big drop could fuel advertisers’ push for changes in how ads are incorporated into shows, reinforcing demands for fewer or shorter ad breaks and lower ad rates.

Free summary of the Wall Street Journal article provided by the Benton Foundation.  Does this issue seem familiar?  Maybe you’ve been keeping up with Whats New Media then.

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