Nielsen Launches Gracenote Inclusion Analytics To Bolster Diversity On TV

Dino-Ray Ramos
·3 min read

Nielsen is taking a fresh approach when it comes to examining diversity and representation on TV with the newly launched Gracenote Inclusion Analytics, which brings visibility to the gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation of talent appearing in TV programming and the audiences watching it. This is quite a groundbreaking feat that will empower content creators, owners, distributors and advertisers with data to enable more inclusive content.

With Gracenote Inclusion Analytics data, a distributor can highlight content within its catalog featuring diverse female leads for Women’s History Month or fuel recommendations connecting fans of diverse content with programming that caters to their taste. In addition, a studio can evaluate whether its content meets Diversity, Equity and Inclusion benchmarks and highlight programs for licensing opportunities. A brand can identify and target the most inclusive content to inform its ad investment or product placement decisions. This new venture truly fuels the “Representation Matters” mantra.

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“The entertainment industry has a massive challenge ahead – to ensure the talent associated with popular TV programming mirrors today’s increasingly diverse viewing audiences,” said Sandra Sims-Williams, SVP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Nielsen. “By democratizing information around representation in content, Gracenote Inclusion Analytics holds the power to push the industry toward better balance and a more equitable future.”

According to Nielsen’s “Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation & Inclusion on TV” report released in December 2020, women account for 52% of the U.S. population but comprise only 38% of top recurring cast in popular broadcast, cable and streaming programming. At the same time, People of Color account for 40% of the broader population but are present in only 27% of top TV roles. The data simply shows the imbalances between representation in content and key audience groups which would serve to accelerate equity in entertainment.

Gracenote Inclusion Analytics marries industry-leading Gracenote Global Video program metadata and Studio System celebrity race and ethnicity data with currency grade Nielsen Television Ratings and Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings data. Based on these inputs, the solution delivers new proprietary metrics assessing the degree to which different identity groups are featured in programming and how evenly this reflects viewing audiences. These include:

  • Share of Screen quantifying an identity group’s (e.g. Women, LGBTQ, Black) representation among the top
    recurring talent

  • Inclusion Opportunity Index comparing Share of Screen for an identity group (e.g. Women) to their representation in population estimates

  • Inclusion Audience Index comparing Share of Screen for a group to their representation in the program’s viewing audience

“Audiences today actively seek out programs that highlight people who resemble them and experiences that reflect their own,” said Tina Wilson, Head of Analytics at Nielsen. “Under these circumstances, it’s critical that the entertainment industry create authentic content which resonates with underrepresented groups. Together, Nielsen and Gracenote are uniquely positioned to help the industry seize upon this opportunity by way of new data analytics solutions ensuring meaningful connections between content and audiences.”

Initially, Gracenote Inclusion Analytics will offer data and insights around gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation of on-camera talent appearing in popular broadcast, cable and SVOD TV programs. This will expand to theatrical movies as well as behind-the-camera talent.

However, noticeably absent in the data being examined is representation of the disabled community, which will hopefully be included in the future.

Gracenote Inclusion Analytics marks the first solution to launch from the new Gracenote Content Analytics suite, which combines the company’s entertainment metadata with Nielsen’s audience measurement data. The suite will provide the entertainment industry with tools to help them inform their decisions on what to produce, whom to attach, where to place programming and how to buy advertising to maximize resonance with key audiences and return on investment.

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