TV Execs Hate People Meters Too

from the so-that-explains-it... dept

Two stories just became a lot clearer. Last year, we first wrote about Nielsen’s attempt to use so-called “people meter” devices to more accurate track media consumption. Historically, they’ve used a “diary method” where they ask people to record what they watch – which is obviously open to quite a bit of user error (on purpose or by accident). Then, a recent study by Nielsen saying that men were watching a lot less TV drew a lot of angry complaints from the TV industry who said the study wasn’t accurate at all. What wasn’t mentioned at the time was that this new study was based on these new people meters. Of course, what this suggests is that the drop in TV watching actually started to occur a while back, but Nielsen’s old methods didn’t pick up on it – though, of course, that’s not what TV execs want to hear.

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Comments on “TV Execs Hate People Meters Too”

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Mark F says:

Automatic tracking can be more accurate

It could be that people weren’t actually watching what they said they were but because they felt they “should have” watched the shows they reported themselves as doing so. Similar to people buying A Brief History of Time without actually reading it.
This could be a particular factor in the drop in viewship of shows with minority characters. People may report they watched the show due to a desire to keep it on the air without actually watching it.
An alternative idea is that the new numbers have been sabotaged or there is a bug affecting them.

AMetamorphosis says:

Re: Automatic tracking can be more accurate

Anyone watching UPN’s ” The Parkers ” should be electronically zapped for stupidity.

I really don’t see how race plays into this equation. If people are not watching ” minority ” shows then why should advertisers be expected to spend $$$ on them ?

Gregory Kennedy (user link) says:

Re: Re: Automatic tracking can be more accurate

It seems to be a trend that when an industry moves to a truly accurate, electronic system some people freak out that the results aren’t what they wanted.

I remember when CD sales was finally recorded electronically in the early 90’s and the industry freaked that Garth Brookes was the number one seller in the country.

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