Looking to give demanding local TV advertisers more stable viewership, consumer data and reliability for their local media campaigns, Nielsen is expanding its panel of portable people meters and return-path data into a number of top U.S. markets.
These new “currencies” start Oct. 3.
Nielsen says all these efforts to increase sample sizes will improve reliability, reduce errors, and result in reductions in “zero-rated quarter hours.”
Portable people meters (PPM) -- which measure out-of-home viewing, for example, in gyms, doctors' offices, hotels, workplaces and other people's homes -- will be integrated into 25 Local People Meter (LPM) markets and into 19 set-meter markets.
In addition, Nielsen says, National People Meter homes will be integrated into those set-meter markets.
All this will approximately double the panel size in the top 44 markets (25 local people meters and 19 set-meter markets). For example, for persons ages 25-54, the sample size across those 44 markets will increase to 60,000 from 30,000.
In addition, Return Path Data [RPD+] -- which comes largely from set-top boxes from DirecTV, Dish Network and Charter Cable -- as well as National People Meter homes will be integrated with panel data for 12 set-meter markets and 15 code reader markets.
This will sharply lift the panel size of those markets --- to a range of 12,500 to 300,000 homes (depending on the size of the market) from its home panel size of 400 to 800.
Local people meters are in 25 of the largest 26 markets, measuring 50% of U.S. TV households. Set-top meters are in 31 mid-to-large markets -- 21% of all U.S. TV homes. Code readers are in 15 markets, representing 5.5% of U.S. TV homes.
RPD+ measures are in 137 mostly smaller markets, representing 23% of U.S. TV homes, converted from diaries in July 2018. Code readers make up the “+” in RPD+, installed in markets to capture over-the-air viewing that is missed by set-top boxes.
Overall, Nielsen is adding two million RPD+ homes to its samples and more than 1,200 National People Meter homes with the change.
From all of this, Nielsen says better granular data will be the result, with those 27 set meter and code reader markets seeing -- for example -- an average 83% reduction in “zero-rated” quarter hours for 25-54 viewer measurement.