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Nielsen to Include Out-of-Home College Students in People Meter Sample Next Year

Feb 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research will begin including data on the viewing habits of college students living away from home in its early 2007 National People Meter Sample, the research company announced Tuesday. Nielsen will collect the data from students who are members of national sample households.

In a two-year pilot program involving Turner Broadcasting, The WB, CBS, MTV Networks, Fox and ESPN, Nielsen was able to collect data from college-related locations such as dorms and off-campus apartments and to study the impact of the data on the national sample.

College students living away from home in the pilot sample in 2004 and 2005 watched an average of 24.3 hours of TV per week, Nielsen said in its announcement. Nielsen also said that after the inclusion of the out-of-home college students, 18- to 24-year-olds’ overall viewing levels could increase anywhere from 3 percent to 12 percent, resulting in ratings increases ranging from 0.2 to 1.0 point.

“As the media landscape changes, our measures should adapt to the needs of the marketplace,” Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting, said in the announcement. “Extended home is an important first step toward a more complete accounting of exposure. I am pleased that Nielsen has committed to moving ahead.”

“Including college viewing in the national ratings will give our clients a more complete picture of television viewing, particularly among young adults,” said Sara Erichson, general manager of national services for Nielsen.