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Lionsgate, Nielsen Team for FAST Channel Ratings

Lionsgate, Nielsen Team for FAST Channel Ratings

Nielsen, the long-time arbiter of ratings on traditional TV, is getting into the ad-supported streaming game.

The company has struck a deal with Lionsgate to provide measurement for the studio’s MovieSphere FAST channel. Both sides are touting the agreement as a first for a “major” FAST outlet as the free, ad-supported streaming market continues to grow.

“By bringing proven linear TV metrics to the FAST space, Nielsen is providing us with a valuable and innovative tool to benchmark performance, evaluate what’s working and respond quickly to our audiences,” said Jim Packer, president worldwide television distribution at Lionsgate. “This is potentially a very significant development where our team can leverage viewer reach, duration, frequency, concentration and other audience indicators to help us shape our branded, general entertainment channels to better return value for our partners.”

MovieSphere features films from Lionsgate’s library, ranging from Oscar-winning and -nominated movies like The Hurt Locker and Winter’s Bone to the Saw franchise. The channel is available on 18 free streaming platforms, including Roku, Samsung TV Plus and Pluto TV, with plans to expand to a couple more by year’s end.

“With more channels and choices than ever before, Nielsen is highly focused on innovating to ensure our measurement helps clients understand what and where people are watching,” said Amilcar Perez, Nielsen’s chief revenue officer. “The FAST market is growing rapidly, demanding more solutions to understand how people are engaging with FAST channels. We’re pleased to collaborate with Lionsgate, a leader in the FAST market, to bring more clarity and efficiency to FAST players.”

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Lionsgate says MovieSphere’s audience grew by 87 percent year-to-year in the first quarter (though, as is often the case in streaming, the studio didn’t provide a baseline figure). Viewers spend a little more than two hours per month on the channel on average, on par with several ad-supported cable networks.

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