Nielsen Adding PPMs To Local TV Ratings

Its local TV service will incorporate portable people meters to enhance total audience coverage for both in-home and out-of-home viewing.

Today, Nielsen announced that as part of its ongoing effort to advance television measurement, it will expand the use of its portable people meter (PPM) technology to provide direct persons measurement for local TV ratings.

The company said the addition of PPM panelists to local TV service will effectively double the sample size and provide local clients with ratings that reflect precise measurement of local viewing behaviors and insights and boost ratings fidelity. Nielsen will begin to introduce PPM measurement for in-home and out-of-home viewing in 2017.

PPM is used today for Nielsen’s audio measurement service and will be extended for use in local TV ratings which will now include viewing from over 75,000 PPM panelists across 44 TV markets.

Nielsen said this enhancement is estimated to lead to a 40% decrease in zero audience estimates, “providing local TV clients with increased opportunities to monetize their in-home and out-of-home viewing audiences.”

“As part of our overall local market enhancement measurement strategy, Nielsen is maximizing the strengths of various data sets, including PPM data and return path data, to help our local clients understand their total audience by capturing all sources of viewing. Additionally, we are providing them with the tools needed to maximize their audience and grow their business,” said Megan Clarken, president, Nielsen product leadership. “The media industry is in the midst of an important transition and people have endless options for viewing their favorite content. We are the only measurement provider that can directly measure the out-of-home television audience.”

Additionally, in the first quarter of 2017, Nielsen will release a stand-alone service that gives local clients in the 44 designated market areas the ability to see incremental audience provided by out-of-home viewing. The portability of the PPM technology will measure TV viewing in locations including bars, offices, hotel rooms and other places outside of the home where TV is watched. It said impact data for out-of-home measurement combined with PPM measurement of in-home viewing is expected in the third quarter of 2017.  


Nielsen said the inclusion of PPM measurement into the Nielsen local TV service will bring “additional stability and depth to local TV ratings. The integration will advance Nielsen’s ability to provide clients more granular data while measuring consumers wherever they watch.”

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