Nielsen Looks to Jolt Sample with Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple Data

Nielsen could expand its sample size by millions if it collected anonymous data from mobile devices running Facebook, Twitter, Google and iTunes, the company said Thursday.

“The audience measurement company establishes a panel of users who have agreed to provide their demographic information and to have their Internet browsing activities monitored. When an individual joins the panel, they provide detailed information concerning their identity and demographics (e.g., gender, race, income, home location, occupation, etc.) to the audience measurement company,” Nielsen said in a patent application.

Nielsen VP of Engineering Alan Bosworth is named as lead inventor on the patent application, titled, “Methods and Apparatus to Collect Distributed User Information for Media Impressions and Search Terms.”

Abstract: An example method includes receiving a media identifier and an impression identifier from a device, the media identifier being indicative of media presented at the device; receiving the impression identifier in association with first user information from a first database proprietor as a result of the first database proprietor obtaining a first identifier sent from the device, the first identifier identifying at least one of the device or a user; receiving the impression identifier in association with second user information from a second database proprietor as a result of the second database proprietor obtaining a second identifier sent from the device, the second identifier identifying at least one of the device or the user; identifying the first and second user information as associated with a same user based on the impression identifier; and associating the first and second user information with the media identifier.

Patent

Claims:
1. A method comprising: receiving a media identifier and an impression identifier from a media device, the media identifier being indicative of media presented at the media device; receiving the impression identifier in association with first user information from a first database proprietor as a result of the first database proprietor obtaining a first identifier sent from the media device, the first identifier identifying at least one of the media device or a user of the media device; receiving the impression identifier in association with second user information from a second database proprietor as a result of the second database proprietor obtaining a second identifier sent from the media device, the second identifier identifying at least one of the media device or the user of the media device; identifying the first user information and the second user information as associated with a same user based on the impression identifier; and associating the first user information and the second user information with the media identifier.

2. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the first database proprietor is a social network service, the first identifier is a username of the user registered with the social network service, and the first user information is demographic information corresponding to the user and stored by the social network service.

3. A method as defined in claim 2, wherein the second database proprietor is a wireless service provider of the media device, the second identifier is a device identifier used by the wireless service provider to identify the media device and to associate the second user information with the user of the media device, and the second user information is demographic information corresponding to the user and stored by the wireless service provider.

4. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein at least one of the first identifier sent from the media device or the second identifier sent from the media device is encrypted.

5. A method as defined in claim 1, wherein the first identifier is different than the second identifier.

6. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and a storage device comprising computer readable instructions which, when executed, cause the processor to at least: access a media identifier and an impression identifier received from a media device, the media identifier being indicative of media presented at the media device; access the impression identifier in association with first user information received from a first database proprietor as a result of the first database proprietor obtaining a first identifier sent from the media device, the first identifier identifying at least one of the media device or a user of the media device; access the impression identifier in association with second user information received from a second database proprietor based on the second database proprietor obtaining a second identifier sent from the media device, the second identifier identifying at least one of the media device or the user of the media device; identify the first user information and the second user information as associated with a same user based on the impression identifier; and associate the first user information and the second user information with the media identifier.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 6, wherein the database proprietors include a social network service and a wireless service provider, the first identifier comprising a username of the user registered with the social network service, and the second identifier comprising a device identifier used by the wireless service provider to identify the media device.

8. An apparatus as defined in claim 7, wherein the user information includes first demographic information of the user stored by the social network service, and second demographic information of the user stored by the wireless service provider.

9. An apparatus as defined in claim 6, wherein at least one of the first identifier sent from the media device or the second identifier sent from the media device is encrypted.

10. A machine accessible storage medium comprising instructions that, when executed, cause a machine to at least: access a media identifier and an impression identifier received from a media device, the media identifier being indicative of media presented at the media device; access the impression identifier in association with first user information received from a first database proprietor as a result of the first database proprietor obtaining a first identifier sent from the media device, the first identifier identifying at least one of the media device or a user of the media device; access the impression identifier in association with second user information received from a second database proprietor based on the second database proprietor obtaining a second identifier sent from the media device, the second identifier identifying at least one of the media device or the user of the media device; identify the first user information and the second user information as associated with a same user based on the impression identifier; and associate the first user information and the second user information with the media identifier.

11. A machine accessible storage medium as defined in claim 10, wherein the database proprietors include a social network service and a wireless service provider, the first identifier comprising a username of the user registered with the social network service, and the second identifier comprising a device identifier used by the wireless service provider to identify the media device.

12. A machine accessible storage medium as defined in claim 11, wherein the user information includes first demographic information of the user stored by the social network service, and second demographic information of the user stored by the wireless service provider.

13. A machine accessible storage medium as defined in claim 10, wherein at least one of the first identifier sent from the media device or the second identifier sent from the media device is encrypted.

14. A method, comprising: instructing a media provider to associate executable instructions with media; and receiving data from a media device in response to the media device executing the instructions, the instructions causing the media device to: collect a media identifier indicative of media presented at the media device; encrypt a user identifier that identifies the user of the media device, the encrypting of the user identifier based on a first encryption key corresponding to a first database proprietor having first user information associated with the user identifier; encrypt a device identifier that identifies the media device, the encrypting of the device identifier based on a second encryption key corresponding to a second database proprietor having second user information associated with the device identifier; send the media identifier in association with an impression identifier to a data collection server; send the encrypted user identifier and the impression identifier to a second server associated with the first database proprietor; and send the encrypted device identifier and the impression identifier to a third server associated with the second database proprietor.

15. A method as defined in claim 14, wherein the data received from the media device comprises the media identifier and the impression identifier.

16. A method as defined in claim 15, further comprising associating the data received from the media device with a media impression based on the impression identifier.

17. A method as defined in claim 14, further comprising: receiving the first user information from the first database proprietor; receiving the second user information from the second database proprietor; and identifying the first user information and the second user information as associated with a same user based on the impression identifier.

18. A method as defined in claim 17, further comprising associating the first user information and the second user information with the media identifier.

19. A method as defined in claim 14, wherein the instructions are to further cause the media device to encode the encrypted user identifier and the encrypted device identifier in a single identifier, the instructions to cause the media device to send the encrypted user identifier by sending the single identifier to the second server and sending the encrypted device identifier comprises sending the single identifier to the third server.

20-43. (canceled)