Nielsen Finally Recognizing That People Don't Watch TV The Same Way

from the took-a-while dept

Years in the planning, tracking firm Nielsen is finally going to start recognizing that a lot of people don’t watch live TV any more, thanks to DVRs. They’re going to start including stats on when people watch shows, not just whether or not they watched them. It will be interesting to see both what this data suggests — and how TV execs respond to it. After all, back when Nielsen started using their people meter devices to realize that men weren’t watching as much TV, the TV execs freaked out and said Nielsen’s new measurement system must have been wrong. The more likely story was simply that Nielsen’s old diary-based method of tracking TV shows wasn’t accurate and had been hiding the shift away from TV for some time. The same sort of revelation may come as the company looks more closely at time shifting TV as well.

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Comments on “Nielsen Finally Recognizing That People Don't Watch TV The Same Way”

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Andrew Strasser (user link) says:

Many men do watch less television than women.

It’s very common knowledge that many men watch less television than women for the sole purpose that even with changing times. More women stay home with the children than men do. Most men will watch some programming in the evenings normally like news or sports events that sort of thing. Most men do not watch fancy soap operas though. These are just plain and simple truth’s. Weather that number is declining. I’d say look and see how many people are using their computers more.

Kbbroiler says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Many men do watch less television than women.

The fact about TV which I don’t think it was mentioned TV seems to be also a on slot of male bashing. TV says all men are dogs, bad fathers, incapiable of love, etc. All these talks shows and soap operas portray this. As a matter of fact it’s gotten so bad they have stupid channels like the style channel. This would be a turn off to any guy whose got brains. Personally my TV view started going down 10 years ago. The last prime time tv show I watched go off the air was Seinfeld. Since then I could care less what is on TV. Most TV is geared towards women and that’s why a guy flips thru the channels 5 millions time a sec.

Devil's Advocate (user link) says:

Rethinking advertisement...

Instead of blocks of dedicated commercials that are easy to fastforward through, networks will begin integrating commercials into broadcasts better.

An example is with sporting events… you’ll see something flash by with a little sound to catch your attention without the program ever taking a break (much like in NFL, “The Cheetos Instant Replay!” or the “Visa Skycam”).

Perhaps a margin will come up along an edge with information in there, kinda like how they do with credits at the end of a movie when previews of what’s next are playing in the rest of the screen.

And if all else fails, there’s always product placement. Judging by my recent movie and TV watching, the industry is just begging to whore itself out to anybody with a dollar and something to sell.


Nick (user link) says:

Nielsen and DVRs

I had been a “Nielsen family” on my TiVO – I think it might have been as long as two years ago – I filled out a book in which I wrote that it was simply impossible for me to use their format since I had not watched any TV live at all in the previous week and that their “diary” might have been OK for someone who timeshifted a couple of programs but it would have been impossible for me since I timeshifted everything – never watching live TV at all. In the diary they had a special form for timeshifting – you were supposed to hand record what you watched and when (and what channel) it was originally on, and when you finally watched it and how long it took you.

Of course, if you have owned a TiVO, you understand that this is silly. TiVO owners tend to not think about channels and to think about programs – I like “King of the Hill” and it is currently on three different channels I think – I could tell you I watched it but I probably could not tell you what channel I recorded it from. This is not because the information is not available to me, it is because it is unimportant, so I never look. The “wishlist” records the program no matter what channel or time it happens to be on.

The response was to send me a letter asking if they could “bug” my TiVO. So I gave them permission and I assume that they did and I have assumed that they listened for a while.

My point is that they have colledted this data for some time – unreliably through diaries, reliably by bugging TiVOs and this is simply whether they are reporting it or not. If they bug your TiVO, they know, to the second, when you watched the program, when it was recorded, how many commercials you skipped and when and how you used the instant replay feature – as reported (for example) by this article.

So, well, this is a reporting decision, not a collection decision.

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