Looking to “stabilize” its local TV measurement, Nielsen has announced a number of new initiatives.
Nielsen says it will start up “ratings stabilization” on July 30 in local people meter (LPM) markets. The statistical technique will be used “to mitigate ratings fluctuations that are caused by panel variability, as opposed to true differences in viewer behavior.”
Nielsen says this will “increase quality to the same degree that doubling panel size would.”
For some time now, local TV station executives — especially in small to mid-size markets — have been concerned over volatile viewership measurement because of small, or under-representative TV household sample sizes in their markets.
Nielsen also says it will address “unidentified audience” — this is when the TV is on but no one has checked themselves in as a viewer. Nielsen says using “viewer assignment” modeling will help this problem. Nielsen says about 3% of TV homes are excluded because “incomplete persons” data.
Also on October 1, Nielsen says it will start up ratings stabilization in 31 set meter markets. At the same time, diaries used in these markets — to collect persons data — would end. Nielsen says it will used “viewer assignment” modeling here to gain demographic viewing data.
Nielsen will also begin “code reader” technology in another 14 smaller markets previously measured by diaries.With regard to its National People Meter service, Nielsen says it will double its sample size to 25,000 homes from the current 12,500 level by the start of next fall’s TV season.