Prime time viewing comes to your browser

Prime time viewing comes to your browser

By Mark Chillingworth

Web banner advertisements could soon be competing for prime time slots on Web sites in the same way as corporations compete for a slice of the prime time air waves on television. Nielsen/NetRatings has introduced a service that monitors Internet site traffic by time of day and prime time experiments have already proved successful, the service is expected in Australia soon.

Nielsen/Net Ratings and US rival ComScore Meda Metrix have introduced software that monitor Web site traffic by the time of day and breaks the day into "dayparts". Nielsen/NetRatings believes this allow advertisers to monitor what types of people are visiting Web sites and when. The aim of the "daypart" service is to enable Web banner ads to be tailored to demographics.

Companies used to advertising on television and radio could be won over by the system as they will be experienced in seeing audiences as users of a type of media at a set time; Nielsen/NetRating believe this could be the vehicle that will coax traditional advertisers on to the Internet.

Experiments have already been conducted in the US, where the service has already been rolled out. Budweiser and American Online have experimented with "daypart" ads with reported success.

Monique Perry, the client service director for the Australian branch office of Nielsen/NetRatings said that the service will be available globally and is expected in Australia soon, currently the local branch is adopting a number of other new ratings systems.

Prime time slots on television are fiercely competed for and in the UK, where advertising is controlled by a strict regime of laws, advertiser's compete not just for slots, but also to have the most creative and memorable ads; prime time ads have become part of the viewing culture and award winners. Could the Internet ape the battle to be seen during the Rugby World Cup telecasts or News At Ten?

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