Nielsen’s Post-IPO Challenge: Preserving Ratings Monopoly

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The Wall Street JournalNEW YORK—Investors buying shares of Nielsen Holdings N.V. NLSN -0.38% in its initial public offering, expected to be priced Tuesday night, will be betting that the company can hold on to its position as the arbiter of audience measurement for media in the digital age.

Nielsen, which will trade under the ticker symbol NLSN, has arguably had a monopoly in the television business as the provider of audience ratings, which are used as the currency for pricing advertising deals and comparing the popularity of shows. It also has a larger business providing purchasing data to consumer packaged-goods companies to help them shape their strategies.

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