Procedure Implemented to Improve NSI Services

Apr 19, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The Media Rating Council has implemented a detailed “performance improvement process” and monitoring procedure designed to improve Nielsen Media Research’s Station Index diary and meter-diary services. Nielsen has agreed to the procedure.

The Nielsen Station Index collects data from some 30,000 metered homes and more than 1 million diaries distributed per year to that measure TV viewing in the 200-plus local markets that have not switched to Nielsen’s Local People Meter service.

“It is not business as usual for the NSI service,” MRC executive director George Ivie said. “We don’t issue a statement like this lightly.”

The changes, he said, “are not superficial. They are real. And we think it is going to make a difference.”

The dialogue between Nielsen and the MRC, the government-mandated media research watchdog, about the need for improvements in the NSI services began during the MRC Television Committee’s 2004 NSI audit.

The committee, which meets several times a year, will monitor the results of the changes, many of which were suggested by Nielsen but are not limited to the wide-ranging initiatives Nielsen already has laid out for clients. They run the gamut of the Nielsen production process, from sample makeup to the in-tab rates of the samples to data editing and ascription. The changes range from the esoteric to the easily discerned.

The diary Nielsen distributes to more than 1 million people each year has been slightly enlarged, effective with the May mailings, to 5.75 inches by 7.75 inches (from 5 inches by 7 inches) to make it easier to fill out. In addition, instructions will be simplified and reminders of the importance of filling out the diary accurately will be more prominently featured.

The diary redesign produced marked reductions in the amount of viewing time that was unaccounted for in a July 2004 test, according to Nielsen.