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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jericho, Nielsen, and You- Part III

Nielsen collects viewing information for national and local programs — not only what's being viewed but also the composition of the audience (demographic data).

Daily household minute-by-minute viewing and tuning data, from both the national and local metered samples, is stored in the in-home metering system until it is automatically retrieved by Nielsen computers each night. Once the data is relayed via phone lines to the operations center in Florida it is processed that same night for release to the television industry the next day.

Nielsen collects information from approximately 25,000 metered households starting about 3 a.m. each day, process about 10 million viewing minutes a day, and makes over 4,000 gigabytes of data available for customer access the next day. They collect and process data from 1.6 million handwritten paper diaries from households across the country during sweep periods.

When the meter data is transmitted from the home to Nielsen, it is in raw code form. Nielsen then runs a series of tests to ensure the integrity of this data.

If a problem is discovered, the system will flag the data from that household, analyze the problem, and determine the best course of action for correcting it. The solution may be as simple as calling the household to gather some information. In other cases they may schedule a Nielsen representative to visit the household and repair or replace metering equipment, or re-coach the family members on usage of our equipment.

Once the data has been validated, Nielsen's systems combine the transmitted and internal reference data to convert it to ratings information.

Sometimes advertisers want information such as are children watching cartoons with their parents or which zip codes are tuning into the football game? Answers to these and other questions help clients place advertising effectively, determine if a program is working well on a particular day, or decide if pairing it with another program would yield better results.

Stay tuned. More tomorrow in Part IV.

3 comments:

Bob Johnson said...

Very Interesting stuff, is there any equivalent rating system for other countries? How do they know what other contries are watching?

Jericho Saved said...

There are no Nielsen's in other countries but there are ratings systems in place. Nobody in TV here cares about the fans over there because they can't buy from most of our advertisers.
Thanks for commenting.

Bob Johnson said...

Figures, thanks for the info.