With the multitude of ways people are now consuming TV shows, Nielsen has released a new SDK today that will track when people watch something on mobile devices.

In years past, Nielsen was only able to accurately track viewing from traditional televisions screens, which basically means those ratings were blind to anything that was watched on other devices such as tablets, smartphones, apps via smart TVs, and more. That puts not only Nielsen at a disadvantage, but also the entire television industry, which uses Nielsen ratings to sell billions of dollars of advertising each year to brands, companies, and others wishing to get their message out during popular TV programming.

The new SDK is actually a wider rollout of something the company has been testing for the last several months. The new tracking system will be able to gauge where and when people are watching a program (tablets, smartphones, DVRs, smart TVs, etc.) using a combination of big data and “census-style” measuring. The new measurements will be available to participating TV networks by mid November.

Nielsen said it will help match up demographics for who’s watching a program using data from Facebook, (having already partnered with Twitter for improved social ratings data in the past).

The new SDK is definitely something that’s a long time coming for Nielsen, and one that may help the TV networks prevent the implosion of the multi-billion dollar TV ad industry from suffering the same fate as print advertising.