Nielsen announced big developments that could improve accuracy when it comes to TV audience measurement. The new features will account for viewing outside of the home in places like bars, gyms, airports and hotels.
It’s hard to believe that current Nielsen ratings do not include viewing outside the home, but that is still the case.
Coming April 2017, Nielsen will upgrade its current national TV ratings panel with its portable people meter (PPM), which Nielsen and media companies like ESPN & Turner hope will help paint a more accurate picture of live viewing.
The 75,000 Nielsen panelists in 44 markets will carry the PPM with them allowing them to measure where a large portion of live sports viewing takes place like sports bars, gyms, hotels, and airports.
Nielsen has served as the standard for broadcast ratings for a long time despite its widely acknowledged inaccuracy. The company has been announcing several ratings overhauls recently. Notably, it will finally stop using paper TV diaries (yes, paper diaries) in 2018, which are relied upon in 140 local markets. And last month it launched the digital content ratings metric.