New Zealand is one of the first five countries where AC Nielsen will set up its online market research arm, eRatings.
The company's Brian Milnes, who also drove the addition of questions on Internet use to its household readership survey when Nielsen was AGB McNair, was "heavily involved in the development of the product internationally," says AC Nielsen managing director David O'Neil." Since he's based here it makes sense for New Zealand to be part of the launch,"
New Zealand's high level of PC usage and good infrastructure were also factors in the decision to start eRatings here, along with Ireland, Australia, Singapore and the UK, he says. A further 30 countries will be added to the eRatings group in the next two years.
"Initially we'll have a team of six people in New Zealand. They will be part of the Nielsen team but will be run separately."
The New Zealand team will conduct research on local Internet usage patterns as well as helping with regional and worldwide research as needed.
"We will be producing a software equivalent to the 'people meter' that monitors television usage." Initially eRatings will look only at household Net use but O'Neil hopes to expand this to business use as well. "We're hiring now and hope to have the team in place within four to six weeks. We should see our first reports released early in the new year."
O'Neil believes eRatings will be the first company in New Zealand to look at Internet use on such a scale.