DVR Data Shifts Nielsen Ratings In Unexpected Direction


As if you didn't already realize, we're certainly no expert on all things Nielsen but we do know when reading a MediaPost article about Nielsen ratings declining after DVR viewership is added to live and Nielsen blather such as this is uttered, "With time shifted data, there have been occurrences when demographic projections (in units) for 'live plus same day' are lower than for 'live' projections (units). This difference can be attributed to the imputed VCR record activity which is calculated from household tuning activity that includes VCR record and household tuning that excludes VCR record. The VCR adjustment factor is applied to each building block demographic at the quarter-hour level for both programs and time periods," and we feel like a first grader listening to a college physics lecture, something is very wrong.

Does anyone else feel like Nielsen is going to implode upon itself finally giving way to more effective and realistic metrics?

by Steve Hall    Jan-23-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Research   

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You realize, of course, that all of this is code for "We don't know what the fuck we're doing anymore," don't you? The curtain has finally been pulled back to reveal the mortal side of the Nielson ratings and they don't want to admit it.

Not yet, anyway.

We all accepted ratings figures as "best estimates" back in the day when that was as good as could be done. But now, thanks in large part to the Internet and the concept of "absolute metrics", good enough isn't good enough any more.

Nielson needs to completely re-think how it does what it does and do something about it.

And if that last statement wasn't ambiguous enough for you, then ... whatever.

Mike Bawden
Brand Central Station

Posted by: Mike Bawden on January 25, 2006 9:07 AM