Nielsen Unveils Next Generation Local Audience Ratings

Nielsen, one of the world’s leading providers of information and insights, announced a new comprehensive plan to upgrade their local audience ratings. The standard used by the ad industry for decades, Nielsen Local Audience Ratings, Nielsen now says their next generation Local Audience Ratings will exceed past performance and do more than meet the needs of industry users.

NIelsen ratings

According to the news, Nielsen plans on increasing their sample audience with a hybrid measurement methodology, combined with existing panels of respondents. The new proprietary measurement technology, which is called Nielsen Code Reader, obtains data from set top box devices. Nielsen is now evaluating the availability and viability of RPD data, in their plans for more extensive development of the client review process. The company has already shown its Local Audience Ratings plan to the Media Ratings Council (MRC). Matt O’Grady, executive vice president and managing director of Local Media at Nielsen, had this to say about the announcment:

“Our clients’ priorities are clear: improved ratings stability and cross-platform measurement. Nielsen will dramatically increase sample sizes while maintaining the critical principle of market representation. Additionally, Nielsen has developed market leading computer, tablet, and smartphone meters to capture all viewers, all consumers, all segments. This will be the foundation for cross-platform measurement.”

Neilsen’s plan, over a total of twenty introductory markets, will potentially improve measurement in the Local People Meter (LPM), Set Meter, and Diary markets. Set to begin in Q4 2012, the Nielsen Code Reader installation will be initiated across markets; St. Louis, Dallas, and Charlotte. These are to be followed by; Nashville, Greenville, Birmingham, Albuquerque, and New Orleans.

Nielsen’s program should offer local cable and broadcast stations a far more granular and stable data metric for programming and ad sales, at least according to Neilsen. The news reflects some of the suggested benefits of the new system:

  • Quadrupling effective sample size in Local People Meter and Set Metered markets and doubling effective sample size in Diary markets resulting in a significant reduction in ratings variability and zero rated periods;
  • Maintaining a representative and projectable probability sample across all markets;
  • Continuous electronic measurement in all markets;
  • Improved measurement for long-tail program sources.

Nielsen Local Audience Ratings will be enabled by the following investments:

  • New proprietary home TV measurement technology, including a breakthrough watermark-enabled capture device, currently referred to as Nielsen Code Reader;
  • Unique hybrid approach utilizing Nielsen’s Local People Meter and Set Meter panels and return path data from a variety of participating cable and satellite providers.

And, this new system also lays the potential ground work for local online, tablet and mobile cross-platform measurement, not to mention  other media/purchase analyses. The preliminary data will supposedly be available from the 20 markets sometime in 2013. The remaining 190 plus markets are to be rolled out sequentially, over the next couple of years.

For those interested in more about this Nielsen announcment, please read the original press at BusinessWire, or visit their website via the links provided. We leave you with YouTube video from Nielsen.

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