Nielsen to Shift Method of Prompting Viewers

Jul 7, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research informed clients Thursday that rather than waiting for a channel change to prompt viewers to signal they are still watching, it will display the prompt at 42-minute intervals as it rolls out the new Active/Passive meters (which track viewing by detecting audio codes embedded in programming) in its National People Meter and Local People Meter samples starting later this month.

The reason for making the switch to a time-based prompt is that “newer digital technologies render the concept of a channel obsolete,” Nielsen said in its communiqué to clients.

Nielsen said it tested 21-minute and 42-minute prompts and presented the results to clients, and then did additional research that included an in-panel coincidental, a qualitative survey and in-depth data analyses before settling on the 42-minute prompt in consultation with a small steering committee of clients.

“This research represents a major contribution to the understanding of the effects of time-based prompts,” Nielsen said of the practice which is used in a number of other countries.