MovieSphere Is First Major FAST Channel Measured by Nielsen

Nielsen will begin measuring the performance of Lionsgate‘s MovieSphere channel (available on 18 streaming platforms), making it the first major FAST service to get a deep dive regularly disseminated to clients by the analytics firm. Nielsen also collects data from Roku, Peacock, Pluto and Tubi, compiling them as part of the macro view in its monthly trends report “The Gauge.” Detailed MovieSphere data will now be collected and distributed to Nielsen’s ad buyer clients along with the material they receive for traditional networks. Lionsgate launched MovieSphere in 2020, serving-up free movies in AVOD and linear formats.

“By bringing proven linear TV metrics to the FAST space, Nielsen is providing us with a valuable and innovative tool to benchmark performance, evaluate what’s working and respond quickly to our audiences,” Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television Distribution Jim Packer said on Next TV.

“MovieSphere’s viewership is up 87 percent year-over-year in Q1 2024, with approximately 123 average minutes watched per viewer in its first month of measurement” using the new Nielsen tool, writes Deadline, calling its performance “comparable with leading basic cable networks.”

News of the Nielsen deal follows Lionsgate’s quarterly earnings on May 23 — described by Variety as its first “after Lionsgate Studios debuted as a standalone public entity” on the NASDAQ May 14, a step toward “the full separation of its studio business and Starz,” the cable and streaming service it acquired from Liberty Media for $4.4 billion in 2016.

To facilitate the realignment, Lionsgate Studios merged with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Screaming Eagle Acquisition Corp., raising $350 million for what Variety reports is a valuation of about $4.6 billion. Fully separating Lionsgate Studios and Starz is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.

Lionsgate Entertainment CEO Jon Feltheimer has said Starz is spinning out with the streaming services while Lionsgate Studios will retain the company’s film and TV production divisions and library.

Packer is quoted in The Wrap saying the Nielsen deal is “potentially a very significant development where our team can leverage viewer reach, duration, frequency, concentration and other audience indicators to help us shape our branded, general entertainment channels to better return value for our partners.”

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