Nielsen to Expand Its Sample Audience, From Dallas to D.C., From Miami to Chicago. L.A. and N.Y. Too

May 29, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Ratings giant Nielsen said it’s expanding the sample size of the audience that’s the basis for TV show ratings, reports our friend Meg James in the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.

James writes: "During the next few months, Nielsen expects to increase its audience sample by 200 homes each in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami and Washington, D.C.

"The [200-home] expansion should continue to other cities in 2015, including San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia," as well as Charlotte, St. Louis, Atlanta and Phoenix.

The company said it will also increase the size of its audience panels in Los Angeles and New York.

The story adds: “Nielsen has installed electronic devices known as ‘people meters’ in 16,916 homes nationwide. Nielsen uses information gleaned from those devices to determine the popularity of TV shows and local newscasts.”

Both the Los Angeles panel and the New York panel will each add 300 homes next year. In L.A. — the nation's second-largest market — Nielsen already uses a sample size of 1,000 homes, the piece adds.

The piece notes: “The company's goal is to boost the quality and stability of its TV ratings, as well as provide more reliable demographic information about people who watch TV shows.” The Nielsen ratings are also used by TV stations, networks, advertisers and media agencies to help set prices paid by marketers for TV commercials.

In total, Nielsen's sample size will increase 30% with this nationwide expansion.


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