Nielsen Paper Diaries Headed for Circular File

Jun 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Nielsen Media Research said it is developing a system to measure when TV shows are watched on the Internet, outside the home and on mobile devices, in addition to traditional at-home viewing.

The ratings service plans to go to an all-electronic measurement system, eliminating its familiar paper ratings diaries in even the smallest television markets by 2011.

Nielsen calls its initiative Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement, or A2/M2.

“A2/M2 is the result of extensive consultation with clients, who told us clearly that we should ‘follow the video’ and deliver integrated measurement of all television-like content regardless of platform,” said Susan Whiting, president and CEO of Nielsen.

Nielsen’s plan includes having Nielsen//NetRatings track digital audio and video delivered via the Internet. Online television measurement will be added in People Meter homes next year and “fused” data, combining viewing results from TV and Internet panels, will be provided.

The company is also testing personal meters, called Go Meters, to capture out-of-home viewing by collecting audio signatures, as well as Solo Meters to track portable media devices. It also plans to create a 400-person iPod panel by the end of the year.

Nielsen intends to expand its Local People Meter service to the next 15 largest markets, including Houston, Seattle and Tampa, Fla., in 2007. It plans to roll out a new Active/Passive Meter in markets 26 through 60. The new A/P Meter does not have to be wired directly to TV sets as the old set meters did.

In markets 61 through 125, Nielsen plans to mail battery-powered meters to sample homes, supplementing them with viewing logs. This system is being tested and a rollout decision is scheduled for mid-2007.

In smaller markets, Nielsen said it will pursue solutions including using set-top box data and Internet diaries.