Monday, February 25, 2008

Nielsen: Do You Count ?

We call Rich Becker the "Hammer" because he hits the nail on the head almost every time. His latest post is no exception. How many good TV shows have we lost because of them counting too few viewers?

"Why are Nielsen numbers only sometimes important? According to Nielsen: There are 5,000 households in the national People Meter sample, approximately 20,000 households in the local metered market samples, approximately 1,000 metered homes for our national and local Hispanic measurement, and nearly 1.6 million diaries are edited each year.

In other words, on Nielsen’s best day, we can expect less than 2 percent of all television households to be sampled, which doesn’t even consider how many people lie (if you were a Jericho fan, chances are you would say you watched it, even if you did not). Or, in yet other words, Nielsen only sounds good when someone like Hinman writes it up like this. Ho hum."

"My point is that the rating system has become little more than a tool to push perception instead of reality. How far from reality? Far enough from reality that when a show like Jericho, for example, is placed in a setting where every viewer is tracked, like TiVo viewers or iTunes downloads, it comes close to the top and looks more viable."

"Interactive ads and techniques to advertise in the VOD and DVR age are top of mind for advertisers, portions of a new survey by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester Research says. 65% of advertisers want to try ads embedded in VOD, while 43% want to experiment with interactive ads. The full survey will be released next Thursday."

"How does the generally competent Sara Erichson, VP of sales and client services, plan to handle the general incompetence of Nielsen, the audience measure company plagued by, among other things, delays in reporting its TV data?
Like any good media conglomerate exec, she’s overseeing the snatching up other companies."

"Marketers need to better understand the changing dynamics of the consumer media market and develop new marketing plans that integrate new media to replace the erosion of traditional media for influence to purchase," said Gary Drenik, president of BIGresearch.

"Marketers who can't tap new media options for their influence to purchase will suffer a decline in advertising ROI."


Jericho Returns said...


Ratings for the Oscars appear to be down significantly. The Oscar telecast on ABC, which ran from 8:30 to 11:45 p.m. ET, averaged a 21.9 rating/33 share in the metered markets, well below last year's 27.7/42.

kystorms said...

great post
for those of us who learned about the current rating system during the save jericho campaign like myself, it is an eye opening experience to know that for years these people have basically controlled what we see based on a very small sample size study. I might not understand it completely, but i know this much, this system does not and never has counted my viewing, yet I account for a big amount of advertising dollars.
please keep posting on this topic, we need to keep this in the public eye , it is the only way to affect change for the better.

Jericho Returns said...

Thanks for commenting Lisa. Nielsen doesn't count my viewing either. It really is amazing that Nielsen has had this hold over the networks for so long. I think they will soon be undone.
Thank you. I'll keep posting it.