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Nielsen Declines to Enter Portable People Meter Venture

Mar 1, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research said Wednesday it has decided not to enter into a joint venture with Arbitron to commercially deploy Arbitron’s Portable People Meter as the primary measurement tool for media ratings currency.

Nielsen said the decision won’t affect its plan to proceed with Project Apollo, the market research joint venture between Nielsen and Arbitron that tracks both media exposure and product sales. Nielsen also said it will discuss licensing the PPM to measure TV viewing outside the home.

Arbitron said it will concentrate its efforts on previously announced plans to create a PPM ratings service for radio.

“Although we saw some economic benefits to our customers from a joint venture, the termination of the May 2000 option now gives Arbitron complete flexibility to meet the needs of our customers in terms of when and at what speed we deploy the Portable People Meter as an audience ratings system in the United States,” said Steve Morris, president and CEO of Arbitron. “We intend to work directly with the broadcast television and cable industry on additional, noncurrency services that utilize the PPM.”

Nielsen said it will communicate a plan within 90 days for providing more accurate and complete measurement of television ratings.

“Nielsen will draw on the remarkable technological advances of the last few years to provide a portfolio of services that will expand electronic measurement across all video platforms,” Nielsen President and CEO Susan Whiting said. “The dramatic growth in digital television, combined with new emerging business models, has changed the way all of us need to approach television measurement, and Nielsen will remain in the forefront of that change.”