Big Bird ups the digital game: RSG Media signs Sesame Workshop for cross-platform reporting

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Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street and its many related products including online video and second-screen apps, has signed on with RSG Media to use its Cross Platform Reporting service. The service monitors usage, revenue and royalties for its content across both linear and digital platforms.

The value of RSG's service is its ability to combine several aspects of the online video and television ecosystems and report on them in a way that allows clients to leverage their content effectively, RSG Media's Tom Siegman, EVP for innovation, strategy and client relations told FierceOnlineVideo.

"(Programmers) have been flying blind for many years," Siegman said, noting that media providers now deliver content to as many as 90 to 100 different platforms. "That's tough to tie together. We've automated that." Using RSG's service, he said, enables information on programs to flow in much faster with much less error.

RSG's Cross Platform Reporting service, introduced in April, ties together information provided from Nielsen, which tracks broadcasted programs, Rentrak, which follows cable video-on-demand programs, and a client's own internal data on various ways its programming is performing on different platforms.

"Eight years ago there was no iPad. Now everyone is watching programming (on tablets) through Netflix, through iTunes, through Hulu, through network-owned websites," Siegman said. "There are all these different platforms. The question is, (programmers) own content. How many people watch it on which platform? What are the costs involved?"

The service also helps clients manage content rights, amortize costs and distribute royalties.

The difficulty in tracking online data was illustrated starkly in a recent New York Times feature that questioned whether online video ads are delivering the metrics promised to the companies that buy them.  

For Sesame Workshop, the service will help it better understand how its target audience of children as young as 3 accesses and views its content.

"We needed a tool that would aggregate and normalize data from a wide variety of disparate sources, each of which has its own formats, standards, and schedules," said Shadrach Kisten, VP of information systems for Sesame Workshop, in a press release. "Because RSG Media's Cross Platform Reporting does this automatically, we can have the information we need faster and more accurately. This allows us to better track our business. More importantly, it lets us better cater to our customers, giving them the content they want, the way they want it."

For more:
- see the Sesame Workshop release
- and this press release

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