Nielsen tv ratings
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Thread: Nielsen tv ratings

  1. #1

    Nielsen tv ratings

    I was just contacted by Nielsen tv ratings and asked if I wanted to become a panel member.

    I always imagined Nielsen placing a black box or something on the t.v. to monitor which shows are being watched, but no, instead they give members a smartphone that detects t.v. audio, converts the audio to a digital code, uploads the code, and then Nielsen matches the code to programming in the person's area. So presumably walking in the t.v. section of a store would pick up all those channels, too.

    Ain't technology weird? :P Well, maybe not weird, but amazing, and scary, too.
    Why is everyone who drives slower than me an idiot, and everyone who drives faster a maniac?

  2. #2
    Administrator Honored Elder jeriddian's Avatar
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    Huh........that's kind of cool. So that's the way they do it. I thought there was some sort of black box thingy too.
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  3. #3
    I think my family was asked to do something like that once, but it was at least five years ago, as we lived in my old house. IIRC, we wrote down what we watched. It's pretty cool that it's evolved so much!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Honored Elder campy's Avatar
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    I think they used to use a wide variety of methods: black boxes, viewer diaries, phone surveys etc. I just know they've never called me. And shows I like always get canceled.

  5. #5
    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    I got called a couple of times by folks wanting to know what I was watching. Unfortunately, each time they called, my TV was turned off.
    And that's the first question they ask, too: "Is your television set turned on right now?" If not, they say thank you, then hang up.

  6. #6
    Registered User Senior Member cpneb's Avatar
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    Has anyone heard the ratings of the marathon or the series end? Would love to see the numbers in comparison to other final Disney shows.

  7. #7
    Registered User Exalted Member kyojikasshu's Avatar
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    I've never been asked to participate in the Nielsen program. I did, however, get an invite last year to participate in the Arbitron radio ratings.

    I declined. Considering they wanted me to keep a written record (diary) of the stations I listened to... that's a bit problematic when the majority of your radio listening occurs in the car, and you're often flipping between stations. And even the name of the rating system suggests the arbitrary nature of the system itself... besides, the stations I listen to with any regularity are arguably the most stable station formats in this market anyway.

    I've never fully bought into the ratings system, anyway. I don't care for how one person, one household is supposedly representing hundreds of thousands, even millions... I mean, the margin for error just seems to be way too huge for my tastes.

  8. #8
    Moderator Venerated Elder TransWarpDrive's Avatar
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    Yeah, they say demographic ratings are far more accurate than the Nielsens anyway...in fact, they've been saying that since the mid-1970's.
    I read somewhere that they took the Nielsen ratings for the original "Star Trek" TV series and translated them into demographics (using some sort of mathematical formula, IIRC). They discovered that judging by the demographic numbers, "Star Trek" was far more popular than the Nielsen numbers said it was. The writer went on to imply that if NBC had used demographics instead of the Nielsens to judge "Star Trek's" popularity in the first place, they wouldn't have canceled the show.

  9. #9
    Registered User Senior Member cpneb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TransWarpDrive View Post
    They discovered that judging by the demographic numbers, "Star Trek" was far more popular than the Nielsen numbers said it was. The writer went on to imply that if NBC had used demographics instead of the Nielsens to judge "Star Trek's" popularity in the first place, they wouldn't have canceled the show.
    Unfortunately, the managers then were looking for an entirely different demographic than the one that Star Trek was drawing: they wanted the
    sixties 'Father Knows Best' types, and they weren't the watchers. Even with the demos, it wouldn't have lasted: it took a generational mindset change, as well as the space travel mindset change, to allow people to consider the 'Possibilities.'

  10. #10
    Registered User Exalted Member lunchmeat's Avatar
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    I did Arbitron for TV, once. It happened during a period of time when I pretty much only watched TV on Saturday nights (I was working 2 1/2 jobs at the time) so my diary was pretty much exclusively Monty Python, Dr. Who and Red Dwarf on PBS.

    one would think that with the almost pandemic presence of cable that tracking viewing habits would be pretty simple. Systems like TIVO make it even more so, since they can report back on what has been recorded or selected for viewing to the company that markets them.

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