Nielsen SDK Documentation


API Versions

Concept of Operations

API Version 5.1.1 (Current)

This section explains the concept of operations behind Nielsen API measurement framework and the integration of various software components of the SDK.

“The Nielsen App SDK allows the third party / player application to pass data that Nielsen uses to accurately measure audience viewing.
  • This includes initializing App SDK with parameters
    • player name
    • version
    • sfcode
    • appid

Player application needs to send ID3 information if the stream contains ID3 tags. Nielsen App object automatically relays this information to Nielsen collection facility.


The Nielsen API framework performs the following activities.

  • Retrieves a configuration file from Nielsen configuration servers based on the Application ID (appid) assigned to the application.
  • Processes ID3 tags, playhead position (Digital Audio) and CMS tags received during audio or video streaming sessions. The App SDK expects to receive the Nielsen ID3 tags only (for example, the ID3 tags starting with Nielsen domain All other non-Nielsen ID3 tags should be discarded (for example, third-party ID3 tags).
  • Buffers Nielsen ID3 / CMS tags and transfers them to Nielsen collection facility.
  • Supports ID3 / CMS tag caching – When users view downloaded content offline (no network connectivity), the player application
    • Transfers cached ID3 / CMS tags Nielsen collection facility after connectivity is restored.
    • Only ID3 tags will not be carried over to the next viewing session.
  • Supports user opt-out selection – If the user opts out of measurement, the player application
    • Notifies Nielsen collection facility about the opt-out, and
    • Stops sending measurement data to Nielsen.
  • Allows to disable/enable App SDK – Provides the ability to client’s hosting application to turn the SDK on or off.
  • Supports generation of location-aware configuration with a client-specified precision.
    • By design, App SDK does not track the user’s location on a continuous basis nor provides a very precise location of the

Key components of Nielsen App SDK

The client’s media player application can be either of the following.

  • Video Player Application (VPA) – which normally plays audio and video back to the user (OR)
  • Audio Player Application (APA) – which normally plays only audio back to the user.

Once integrated into a client’s player application, the operational flow of Nielsen App SDK is as follows.

  • Configure the application for Nielsen measurement
  • Handle playhead postition, ID3 tags and viewing events
    • Upon each launch, the application must initialize a Nielsen App SDK object.
    • The SDK component collects general application information and content position (playhead and ID3 tag) to ensure accurate measurement. Pass the following information to Nielsen Analytics framework (App SDK).
      • Name of the player application.
      • Unique application ID (appid) assigned to each player app by Nielsen.

        Nielsen Technical Account Manager (TAM) will assign two appids for the application – a Test appid and a Production appid. The application must use the Test appid during the development, test, and certification processes. Use the Production appid only when the app has completed the certification process with Nielsen and is ready for submission to the App Store.

      • Software revision of the application.
      • CMS tags information using loadMetadata(), if the video content (programming or advertising) includes CMS tags.
      • Streaming session start events, referred to as “play” events
      • Playhead position once every one second of streaming (when using SDK for Nielsen Digital Audio / DCR).
      • ID3 tags as and when received, if using SDK for Nielsen mTVR or raw ID3 products.
      • Streaming session stop events, referred to as “stop” events
    • The minimum Android version supported on an integration to the SDK library will depend on two factors:
      • What use the client will make of the App SDK (audio/video or audio only)?
      • What media player the App will use (native Android Media Player or a third party media player)?
    • On an application, the minimum Android version supported is 2.3 that is the minimum version supporting the Google Play Services SDK. The App SDK can also work on systems that do not support Google Play services (for example, Amazon Kindle).
  • Player application is responsible for obtaining owner ID string in the PRIV frame of ID3 tags.

    Call appDisableAPI() only after completely disabling measurement (kill switch) and not to enable / disable measurement.

  • Transfer data to Nielsen collection facility
    • Transfer viewing data to Nielsen collection facility using a HTTP and HTTPS connection. Data transferred to Nielsen collection facility should include –
      • Nielsen ID3 tags
      • Channel name
      • Descriptive information including CMS tags (for Digital Audio or DAR)
      • Viewing patterns and
      • General information about the player application (player name, player version, Nielsen API revision, etc.).
    • All data collected and transferred to the collection facility is carefully protected to ensure that the anonymity of the user is preserved.