1923

Nielsen is founded and incorporated in Chicago

westinghouse steam turbine
1923

Engineer Arthur C. Nielsen Borrows $45,000 To Start A Business That Will Test The Quality Of Conveyor Belts, Turbine Generators

1923

First marketing research and performance surveys produced

1924

Capital increased from $45,000 to $55,000

1927

First industrial market survey produced

1929

First consumer market survey produced

1930s

1931

Capital increased from $55,000 to $93,333

1933

Nielsen Launches An Index To Measure Drug And Retail Store Sales

During The Depression, Nielsen Shifts To Measuring Consumer Sales

1934

Company Debuts The Department Store And Food Indexes

1934

Nielsen Begins Measuring Food And Department Store Sales

1934

Client Service Team Is Formed To Help Clients Maximize Effectiveness Of Nielsen Data

1935

Arthur C. Nielsen Invents Market Share Concept, When Auditors Survey Store Shelves To Determine Sales Patterns

nielsen map

1936

Nielsen Launches Its General Store Index

1936

Nielsen Acquires Rights To The Audimeter, a device that attached to a radio to record when it was on and what station it was tuned to

1936

Company Begins Developing Its Radio Index

1938

The Liquor Index launches

1939

Nielsen Opens Office In The U.K., The Company’s First International Office

1940s

1941

Company Doubles The Size Of Its U.S. Headquarters Building due to continued growth

1942

The Nielsen Radio Index is launched in the U.S.

1944

Nielsen opens office in Canada

1946

First Nielsen Mailable Audimeter Is Presented To Radio Industry

the new audimteter

1947

The Consumer Index debuts

1948

Nielsen Introduces The Pharmaceutical Index

1948

Nielsen opens office in Australia

1948

Art Nielsen, JR. champions Nielsen's investment in Univac 1, the first commercial computer to attract widespread public attention

1950s

nielsen tv ratings

1950

The Nielsen Television Index starts in U.S. using a device based on the Audimeter

1950

Nielsen Launches TV Audience Measurement In The U.S.

fifites family

1952

Nielsen office opens in the Netherlands

1953

Company Increases The Size Of Its U.S. Headquarters Building By 60%

1953

Nielsen offices open in New Zealand and Belgium

1954

Nielsen Station Index Service Formed to Provide Local Market TV Audience Measurement in U.S.

1954

Nielsen office opens in Germany

1954

The Nielsen Station Index service expands to the top 30 U.S. markets

1955

usa map

Nielsen Creates The Designated Market Area Concept In The U.S., Establishing Parameters For A Specific Television Market

1955

Nielsen office opens in Ireland

1955

Nielsen Establishes Services And A European Central Operations Facility In Switzerland

1956

Company Opens An Office In Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, Nielsen’s First Branch Operations Facility In The U.S.

1957

Arthur Nielsen Jr. becomes company president

clearing house

1957

Nielsen Establishes A Coupon Clearing House In The U.S., Streamlining Couponing For Manufacturers And Retailers

1957

Nielsen office opens in Sweden

1958

Nielsen Company stock made available to the U.S. public

1959

Company Establishes Montreal Branch To Provide Better Service To Canadian Clients

1959

Nielsen office opens in France

1960s

1960

Nielsen office opens in Japan

1961

Nielsen offices open in Luxembourg and Austria

1961

Nielsen Launches New Product Service To Evaluate The Sales Of New Consumer Products As Manufacturers Broaden Product Lines

1962

Nielsen Measures That More Than 29 Million Homes Tuned In To Watch NASA Blast Astronaut John Glenn Into Space

1962

Company Opens New Canadian Office Building In Toronto

1963

Nielsen office opens in Italy

1963

Art C. Nielsen Sr., Chairman And Founder, Receives Parlin Memorial Award, which honors people who have made outstanding contributions to the field of marketing research

Art Nielsen Sr. Award
photo of monthly tv report - 1965

1963

Measurement of sales at mass merchandisers debuts

1965

The Nielsen Station Index Service Introduces The Viewers In Profile (VIP) Report, Which Stations Use To Sell TV Time To Advertisers In The U.S.

1970s

1970

Los Angeles Becomes The Second Nielsen Station Index Metered Market

instantaneous audimeter 1971

1971

Nielsen introduces the Storage Instantaneous Audimeter, capable of storing TV set usage data and forwarding data overnight via phone line

1973

Company Begins Offering National Daily TV Ratings In The U.S.

1973 nielsen family rating
breaking ground

1973

Nielsen Moves Its Headquarters To Nielsen Plaza In Northbrook, Illinois

1976

Chicago Becomes A Metered Local TV Market

1977

Nielsen implements automated measurement of TV lineups, electronically tracking network feeds to local affiliates

barcode icon

1977

Nielsen pioneers scanning of retail store universal product codes (UPCs) in the U.S.

1979

Company Introduces Scantrack, Giving Clients The Ability To Track Specific Market Trends, Produce Custom Reports And Develop Better Marketing And Distribution Plans

1980s

1980

Nielsen Launches Scantrack Service In The U.S.

1980

Company Debuts Nielsen Homevideo Index To Measure Viewing Of Cable, VCRs, And Other New Technologies

1982

The Company’s New Piggyback Home Unit Allows Nielsen To Use Household Phone Lines For Data Transmission

1983

1983 TV icon

The final episode of M*A*S*H earns a 60.2 Nielsen rating, the record for the highest rated telecast in the U.S. to date

1984

The Dun & Bradstreet Corporation Acquires Nielsen

1985

Company Forms Nielsen Syndication Service To Provide TV Audience Measurement For Growing Syndication Business

daily cable ratings

1985

Nielsen Meters TV Viewing In More Than 5,500 U.S. Homes And Generates Approximately $100 Million In Revenue

1987

Company Launches The People Meter In The U.S. To Produce National TV Ratings With Daily Demographic Data

peoplemeter 1987

1988

Nielsen Homevideo Index continues to add channels as cable reaches 54% of U.S. TV households

1988

Company Launches Cash Slip Methodology To Measure Shopper Activity in Discount Supermarkets

1988

Nielsen Introduces Hand-Held Scanners So That Household Members Can Record UPC-Coded Purchases

1988

Nielsen acquires Logistics Data Systems, whose software helps profitably manage shelf space and display areas

1990s

1991

Nielsen consumer panel expands to 40,000 U.S. homes

1991

World's single-source panel established in Germany

1992

Company Offers National And Local Hispanic Services In The U.S., And Los Angeles Is The First Local Hispanic Market

Maria - Nielsen Brand

1992

Nielsen Workstation Delivers Nielsen Data To The Personal Computer

1992

The Nielsen Workstation wins second place at the Information Industry Association's Product Achievement Awards

warehouse icon

1993

Nielsen becomes the first to offer scanning-based information from warehouse clubs in the U.S.

1993

Nielsen Opportunity Explorer and Nielsen Promotion Simulator place first in the Information Industry Association's Product Achievement Awards

1994

Scantrack launches in Western Europe

1994

Nielsen acquires Survey Research Group (SRG), the market research leader in Asia

1994

Nielsen Establishes Joint Venture With Amer World Research In Eastern Europe, North Africa And The Middle East, Expanding Global Footprint to 76 Countries

1994

Nielsen announces the U.S. Hispanic Consumer Panel

1995

Nielsen now operates household panels in 15 countries, having added more than 20,000 households in Canada, South Africa and France

1995

Nielsen asserts its dominance in the marketing information industry by successfully winning back 26 consumer packaged goods clients

1996

Dun & Bradstreet splits Nielsen into two separate companies; one responsible for TV ratings, and one responsible for consumer shopping trends and box-office data in the U.S.

1999

Dutch publishing company VNU acquires Nielsen's watch business

2000s

2000

Nielsen launches weekly internet usage and advertising service as nearly 100 million Americans are going online

2000

Launch of National Census Service that covers 15,000 stores in the U.K.

2002

Launch of European Operations Facility

sample size doubles

2003

Nielsen Doubles Its National TV Sample From 5,000 To 10,000 U.S. Households

2003

Nielsen Global Technology and Information Center opens in Florida

global tech and info center in florida
active/passive meter

2005

In the U.S., Nielsen introduces the active/passive meter to capture viewer information in digital and analog viewing environments

tv icon

2005

Nielsen's U.S. Syndicated Television Audience Reports Include Time-Shifted Viewing For The First Time

2006

David L. Calhoun becomes CEO of Nielsen

2008

Nielsen Develops Reports That Detail Media Usage Across Screens - Television, Internet And Mobile Devices - To Meet Broadcasters Expanding Needs

2011

Online Campaign Ratings launches, setting a new standard in online ad measurement

2011

Nielsen issues initial public offering and lists as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange

2012

Nielsen becomes the first official market researcher for the Olympic Games

2013

Nielsen acquires Arbitron and launches Nielsen Audio

2013

Nielsen Is Selected For The Standard & Poor's 500 Index

mitch barns becomes ceo

2014

Mitch Barns becomes Nielsen’s CEO

2015

Nielsen named to the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity for the second consecutive year