Nielsen Measures Minutes, Scraps Commercial Measurement

We don't profess to have a clue how the inner working of the Nielsen measurement conglomerate works but common sense tell us if they can measure a minute, they can certainly measure 30 seconds. Answering the industries call to measure what matters, the commercials rather than the programs in which they air, Nielsen has announced new minute by minute ratings but has also scrapped plans to measure smaller chunks of time in which most commercial actually air. The new system will allow for matching a measured minute to the time an ad ran but why not simply measure the actual ads? Oh, because most suck, no one watches them and it will quickly become apparent that placing a :30 on TV is no longer a wise decision thereby causing a dramatic drop in television revenue, part of which goes to pay the hefty sums Nielsen charges for its measurement services. Sort of a catch-22 situation.

This old system of measurement really should be dumped and replaced with a system like Ad ID and other "marker" technology used by viral marketers to track viewership of viral video. The thing gets viewed, it gets counted. It doesn't get viewed, it doesn't get counted. That doesn't happen with Nielsen. And yea, yea, there's the whole thing about matching viewership to demographics but hey, we just write about this stuff. We don't profess to be able to figure it out.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 4-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Research   

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Advertisers should threaten to BOYCOTT television in 2006

If the big advertisers (P&G, GM, etc) say they won't buy ads next year if they can't measure viewership, the networks would have to accept it, and Nielson would fold to the pressure

Posted by: urban pioneer project on November 4, 2005 12:46 PM

The emperor has had no clothing for some time now, but drug co. money has delayed the inevitable. Good commentary.

Posted by: Stevie on November 4, 2005 2:38 PM

Sure Nielsen ratings suck--that's why we don't subscribe. But spot TV is ineffective?? Please don't tell the politicians or the millions of Americans who subscribe to their rhetoric!

Posted by: chuck on November 4, 2005 4:25 PM

Seriously. I mean, I would hate to think that my poll numbers weren't affected by the hundreds of thousands of my own dollars that were spent on TV spots for the upcoming election. Ha Ha, where are your ads, Ferrer? Lets see you compete with ubiquity!!

Posted by: Bloomberg on November 4, 2005 5:07 PM