How Many DVRs Is Nielsen Watching?

from the numbers-please? dept

We noted last month that after years of talking about it, TV watching data from Nielsen was finally going to include a recognition that people watch TV differently when they have a DVR by including data on when people watched shows, not just whether or not they were watched. However, David Card has noticed an article claiming that this data comes from a grand total of 60 households that have DVRs and are passing along that data to Nielsen. There’s a good chance it’s a typo (600 seems more likely, considering the article notes plans to add 100 more per month), but it does raise some questions about the sample size Nielsen uses and whether or not it’s a relevant sample.

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Comments on “How Many DVRs Is Nielsen Watching?”

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Brian Bartlett says:

Statistical significance

The statistical difference between a sample size of 60 and an infinite sample (i.e. the entire statistical universe or all watchers of TV) is very slight. Increasing the sample size to 600 isn’t going to make that much difference unless your sample is non-random, which technically the Nielsen is, btw. In that case, a self-selected sample (all volunteers) no sample size is going to give you an accurate picture of your statistical universe which is very likely the entire problem with the Nielsen.

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