Top 5 Nielsen Changes In 2017



You may have heard about Nielsen’s local market transformation and have wondered what it is and what it means for your television campaign. Hoffmann Murtaugh has the answers you seek. Below is a rundown on the transformation of their collection methodologies and how it will be beneficial for all advertisers. As the transformation evolves Nielsen will continue to improve and update their processes.

Top 5 Nielsen changes in 2017

1. Out with the old and in with the new & improved:  Until now, diary markets (yes, actually asking people to write down what they are watching), were still the measurement system in place for 140 out of the 210 DMAs and provided poor reporting, unstable sample sizes and inconsistent ratings. In 2017, Nielsen will be replacing all paper diaries with Set Top Box (STB) Data, (data collected via a return path, i.e. cable system information).

The STB data will provide for 12 months of electronic measurement and on average there will be 20,000 households per market. The benefit to this yearlong view of ratings is the more accurate reporting for specials and sports.  In the past, certain specials and sporting events may have shown inaccurate, and often very low, ratings if the special ran outside of one of the four sweeps months, (Feb, May, July & Nov).

2. Wherever You Go, Nielsen Goes: Nielsen will begin using Portable People Meters, (a.k.a – PPMs) in 44 DMAs. The PPM is the exact same device used in radio measurement and Canada is already using it to measure TV.  Whether you are in a hotel, airport, bar or office, your viewing can be traced if wearing a PPM.

3. Have device, will travel: Starting in 2017, Nielsen will introduce the addition of Nielsen Digital in TV Ratings, (DTVR), which is the measurement of content consumed through digital devices with programs and ads that match those on linear TV. This will measure local TV stations viewing via the station’s site or app.  It will only account for the “live” viewing of a station and will not read any time delayed video plays.

4. Layer Up: Nielsen will be expanding its Scarborough Measurement to all 210 DMAs. The markets will be measured 1x per year via the 32-page survey which covers the categories of demographics, auto, media, technology, lifestyles, sports, financial habits, dining, retail and more. This data is used to provide targeting intelligence at the local level.

5. Better really does mean better: Nielsen has plans to beef up their sample sizes in all markets through the expansion of panel based measurement and doubling the current sample size in all Local People Meter and Set Top Box markets.

More consistent ratings plus better representation in the market can lead to better television buys for you. However, it takes the experts in the field to fully grasp these changes, what they mean for your business and how to capitalize on better data to provide the best ROI. At Hoffmann Murtaugh, we know the power of this data to best understand the nitty gritty nuances of the markets we play in, the targets we need to reach and the stations/programs and platforms we buy to always go beyond a rating point.

This post was written by Jessica Rozwood, a Senior Media Buyer with Hoffmann Murtaugh.  


One thought on “Top 5 Nielsen Changes In 2017

  1. Wow! Great changes! More data for smaller markets with increased sample size for more accurate results! This will make for better media buys in terms of both quantitative and qualitative data. Almost makes me wish I wasn’t retired from the biz.
    Retired Media Director


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