Nielsen Finally Receives Accreditation For Demo Data In Many Local Markets, Sort Of

More than four years after Nielsen lost accreditation for the demographic audience data for most of its local TV market services, it has once again been accredited by industry ratings watchdog the Media Rating Council. Sort of.

Nielsen and the MRC this morning announced that both Nielsen's local people meters and its local set-meters (operating in 19 markets) have been accredited, including demographic data for those markets, which utilize a new "viewer assignment" modeling methodology utilized by Nielsen to replace the old-fashioned paper diaries it had previously used to generate demographic data in local TV markets not using people meters.

The announcement makes no mention of the other 179 local TV markets -- mostly smaller ones -- measured by Nielsen, but the MRC's website says several components of Nielsen's local TV measurement services remain under review, including core components of its methodology for assigning demographic data:

  • Return Path Data (RPD) in Set Meter and Prior Diary-Only Markets
  • Portable People Meter for TV in LPM and Set Meter Markets
  • Code Reader, and Viewer Assignment Model Viewers in Profile Reports
"This marks a significant achievement for Nielsen because these services now include portable people meter (PPM) measurement, which Nielsen began incorporating as part of its local transformation initiative in October 2019," Nielsen said, of the methodology, which still has not been accredited by the MRC.

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In addition, Nielsen announced that its national people meter service -- the basis for network TV ratings and demographic data -- has received continued MRC accreditation.

2 comments about "Nielsen Finally Receives Accreditation For Demo Data In Many Local Markets, Sort Of".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 23, 2020 at 10:28 a.m.

    Joe, since nobody with a hint of media savvy buys TV time based on set usage ratings, this is not exactly a great victory for Nielsen as its viewer projections, based on some sort of simulation and ascription process, didn't pass muster.

  2. Tony Jarvis from Olympic Media Consultancy, June 23, 2020 at 6 p.m.

    Exactly!  Sadly,  TV measurement in the US remains in the dark ages. Perhaps "we" should invite BARB in the UK to take over?  Joint Industry Committess - JICs that manage audience measurement across most major media platforms in many countries around the World while also admittedly frustrating work much better, produce higher quality data and cost less than the misguided US approach.  Nielsen actually earns some of the JIC contracts but to the specifications required.   I hear antitrust concerns in establishing JICs in the US?  Tosh!  Never was a real issue. Just fake news as confirmed at an ARF Conference on the subject many years ago.
    Opportunity for CIMM in collaboration with ANA, NAB and 4As??

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