Nielsen//NetRatings Expands to South Africa

This has been a busy week for Nielsen//Net Ratings. Following its launch in Spain, the operation has announced that it is to measure Internet audiences, user activity and advertising in South Africa. This represents the first emerging market to be added to the 19 countries already covered by the service.

Microsoft Network and Real Media are the first two clients to subscribe to Nielsen//NetRatings in South Africa. Several more key South Africa based clients are expected to be announced shortly.

ACNielsen is currently building a randomly selected panel of at-home and at-work Internet users in South Africa. The release of data on the panel's April Internet activity will complete the roll-out of the service.

According to Lorraine Hadfield, MD of ACNielsen South Africa, "This rapidly growing medium will now come of age with the robust data and analysis provided through the proven measurement panel methodology of the Nielsen//NetRatings service. Internet access from both the home and workplace will be measured in order to provide the industry with a comprehensive view of the market."

Hadfield cited recent, consistent growth in Internet usage in South Africa as evidence that local Internet marketers will need a third-party supplier of Internet measurement to support continued growth. "An estimated 2+ million people (4% of the total population of about 45 million) have had regular access to the Internet over the past year. And the number of South African e-traders selling consumer goods and services on the Internet has grown by a phenomenal 300% in the past year alone. The South African media are already very sophisticated in terms of measurement for television, radio and print. The addition of Nielsen//NetRatings will ensure that the country remains at the leading edge of audience measurement technology, now through the addition of the Internet."