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Sony teams up with Nielsen to track game ads

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Sony Computer Entertainment America has inked a deal with media head counter Nielsen Company to track gamer behavior for advertising revenue.

Nielsen will have access to data on Sony PS3 systems and the company's online PlayStation Network to track video game traffic, the effectiveness of in-game advertisements and demographics such as user age and location.

Sony wants to use the information to attract advertisers uneasy about wading into the largely uncharted waters of video game advertising.

"SCEA and Nielsen intend to introduce a new kind of discipline and rigor to the measurement of game advertising that will create enormous value for advertisers, game publishers and game players alike," SCEA senior veep Phil Rosenberg said. "Working closely with Nielsen, which has a global footprint that is well-aligned with our own, we look forward to clearly demonstrating the effectiveness and reach of both dynamic and static ad placement within games."

This fall, Nielsen will begin monthly reporting on gamer statistics across the Playstation Network as a part of the organization's GamePlay Metrics measurement service, scheduled to launch this month.

The rollout of the program will begin in North America.

Nielsen Game division veep Jeff Herrmann said the move will bring greater legitimacy and accuracy to game advertising measurement.

"By marrying SCEA's server-side data traffic with our standard ratings metrics, we will be able to provide advertisers with a much more robust picture of the impact of their game network advertising and of those consumers who are actually playing games, all while preserving consumer privacy," Herrmann said.

Despite a strong video game market, advertisers have been hesitant to spend money on plunking a Coke machine in the Mushroom Kingdom until they're sure it will pay off. Microsoft, however, has already sniffed out the opportunity and in 2006, purchased in-game ad specialists Massive for $200m.

Sony currently lags behind rivals Microsoft and Nintendo in the current video game console race despite their lead last generation — and perhaps sees advertising revenue as a solution to attracting game developers back to the Playstation fold. ®

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