Nielsen will account for online viewing of media, including clips and full episodes published on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube. Nielsen says Digital Content Ratings will provide daily measurement of audiences with metrics comparable to those for television. Participating television and digital publisher clients will be able to capture incremental online viewing of their programming as part of their reported audience numbers.

“The inclusion of video content distributed on Facebook, Hulu and YouTube in Nielsen Digital Content Ratings is a major accomplishment and part of our ongoing commitment to provide the industry with independent, comprehensive measurement of the evolving consumer landscape,” said Megan Clarken, who heads product leadership at Nielsen.

The company says “Providing a consistent and transparent view ensures a level playing field with access to the same information across both publishers and distributors.”

Nielsen launched the digital content ratings back in September 2016 as part of its total audience measurement framework. They report average audience, reach, frequency, gross rating point and time spent metrics on digital media, comparable to traditional viewing as reported in Nielsen television ratings.

Apparently the digital content ratings are not intended to be folded into traditional television ratings but can be used by publishers to describe online video viewing or by advertisers to provide an independent third-party measure.

“Having a more complete understanding of how audiences build across platforms will help inform our strategies, and we are looking forward to seeing more progress made on this front,” said Brian Hughes of Interpublic Group’s Magna Global.

Nielsen had previously announced that Hulu and YouTube will be part of its television ratings and will contribute to is standard three-day and seven-day viewing currencies.

Nielsen also says that ABC is the latest network to sign up for its national out-of-home reporting service, based on data captured from its portable people meters across a panel of over 77,000 users in 44 markets. The data are fused with the national representative panel to project what people are watching outside of their homes.

“As viewing continues to fragment across screens and devices, Nielsen is working diligently to ensure we can offer the most comprehensive view of media consumption possible,” said Peter Bradbury, who heads national client solutions at Nielsen.

A clearer picture of viewing across different devices and screens is desperately needed and Nielsen is attempting to address this, at least in the United States.