Nielsen Entertainment and videogame maker Activision Inc. have released a study on game use and the effectiveness of advertising. Nielsen, meanwhile, is developing a system that aims to track gaming h

Nielsen Entertainment and videogame maker Activision Inc. have released a study on game use and the effectiveness of advertising. Nielsen, meanwhile, is developing a system that aims to track gaming habits as a tool for advertisers.

The study, "Video Game Habits: A Comprehensive Examination of Gamer Demographics and Behavior in U.S. Television Households," surveyed more than 1,000 males aged 8-34, from a sample of Nielsen TV households. The study found that three-quarters of the surveyed population owns a videogame system. One-quarter of active gamers could recall in-game advertisements from the last game they played, and one-third said in-game ads help them decide which products to buy.

"Activision partnered with Nielsen on this study because the company believed that the impact of the videogame product integration was relatively unknown, and there was still debate surrounding the actual effect videogames are having on young males' TV viewing habits," says a spokesperson for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based game company.

Other key findings of the study showed that TV viewership among male gamers 18-34 is slightly less than that of men aged 18-34 in general, although gaming does not appear to be affecting TV viewership among males aged 8-17.

Upon releasing the study, Nielsen announced that it was developing a system that will allow Activision and other videogame companies to supply advertisers with audience measurement data. Nielsen aims to provide tools for advertisers to effectively measure ad exposure, demographics and audience recall as it pertains to videogame use. The standardized measurement metric will be similar to Nielsen's existing forms of media measurement for television and theater advertising.

Nielsen says it is in talks with leading game makers to work out common technical standards for ad tracking. A spokesperson says the service will launch "in the near future."


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