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Nielsen To Introduce Podcast Spyware.
Yes, I'm an alarmist, but I don't think the subject is that far from the truth. In the latter half of 2007, Nielsen Analytics is planning to start testing software applications that will track actual listenership of individual podcasts on a given media player.
The first project, to be launched this fall, will measure a panel of 400 iPod users by utilizing a software application that can be downloaded onto a PC and interface with iTunes software. Each time an iPod is connected to a computer to sync with iTunes, Nielsen will record all content accessed, and will provide detailed usage information. Starting in the second half of 2007, Nielsen also will begin testing its “Solo Meters” for portable media devices.
I've been ranting and raving for months now that advertisers have unrealistic expectations of podcast stats. Main stream media all but makes up their stats and advertisers are happy with that. Yes, for some reason, advertisers feel that podcasts have to provide detailed listenership stats before they're viable as advertising vehicles.

Perhaps MSM is just tired of being lied to by magazine and radio outlets so they're being insistent this time around, but this is a crazy place to take a stand me thinks. Anything that tracks what podcasts I've downloaded, whether those podcasts were transferred to my device, whether any portion of it was fast forwarded through, and how much of each show was listened to is spyware. Plain and simple.

I won't even go into the fact that stats are showing that as many as 1/2 of the podcasts downloaded are listened to on the computer rather than transferred to a device,

The question is: how many listeners are likely to allow a piece of software that invasive on their devices or computer? Thanks to Windows' many flaws, computer users have become hyper-sensitive to the concepts of malware and spyware and I don't think that's going to help out the cause in this case.

In order for something of this nature to work, there has to be a benefit to the listener. That's what's missing from this plan: the "What's in it for me?" factor.

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