NEW YORK: The Nielsen Company announced it is to merge its NetRatings and BuzzMetrics divisions into a single internet audience measurement service branded Nielsen Online.

Itzhak Fisher, former executive chairman of BuzzMetrics who now fulfils that role in the new entity, says that although both operations will retain their separate branding, their metrics now can be supplied in parallel to clients.

"Being able to fuse the data sets gives a tremendous value to the consumer," said Fisher. [Or did he mean 'client'?] "Before, they just got consumer-generated media or they just got hits, but by bringing all of them together, you get a complete picture."

Nielsen Online will also provide deeper demographic data on 'blogosphere buzz' [English translation: consumer-generated media relating to a given product or service]. It will also measure hits and time spent on a site featuring nominated products and services.

Clients will also be able to see how their 'buzz' measures up against competitors and get more information on how users are consuming online video.

A similar melding has taken place between Nielsen's recently acquired Telephia telecom measurement brand, acquired in June, with other company initiatives to form Nielsen Mobile - helmed as president/ceo by quondam Telephia ceo Sid Gorham.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff