NEW YORK: 'Fusion', the media mantra of the decade, on Wednesday received an accolade comparable - nay preferable - to the award of a knighthood. Recognition by no less an imperial couple than Nielsen Media Research and Nielsen NetRatings.

The two arms of VNU's research and ratings business jointly launched their National TV/Internet Fusion database, melding information from television and internet viewer/user panels into a unified dataset.

This, they claim, will enable programmers and advertisers to maximize the relationship between TV and web use. It is marketed via Nielsen's Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement project.

The NTV/IF initiative combines Nielsen's National People Meter sample of more than 30,000 respondents, with NetRatings' NetView 29,000-strong sample. The latter electronically tracks the internet useage of home and business panelists.

As of this month, Nielsen will install software meters, including NetRatings' metering technology, on the laptops and personal computers of test homes that also have People Meters. The former will be fully deployed by the end of the 2007-08 TV season.

NTV/IF will provide data classified by age, sex, education, household income and region of the country, providing, its vendors claim, a comprehensive picture of consumers' TV and online activities. Nielsen's ultimate aim is to develop a single-sample TV/internet panel.

In a paean of self-praise Nielsen honchos hyped their new baby. "The National TV/Internet Fusion database takes media measurement to a new level," gushed Mainak Mazumdar, vp, measurement science for NetRatings.

"[It] represents a critical element in Nielsen's commitment to measure television wherever and however it is viewed," effused Paul Donato, chief research officer for Nielsen Media Research.

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