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http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k7/oct/oct5.php

Nielsen begins largest ever expansion of its US Television ratings panel

MUMBAI: US media research firm Nielsen will triple the size of its National People Meter (NPM) television ratings panel by 2011, further increasing the precision of its national television ratings and providing more flexibility for measuring non-traditional television viewing.

Nielsen's NPM panel, which now encompasses about 12,000 US households and 35,000 people, will increase to 37,000 homes and 100,000 people as the company completes the previously announced introduction of Local People Meters (LPM) into 56 local US markets, and integrates these sample homes into the NPM.

The sample expansion begins in November when three LPM markets are integrated into the National sample. For research purposes, this expansion will result in an "effective" sample size of 17,000 households after weighting for the geographical distribution of the 56 LPM markets is taken into account. The "effective" sample size of the NPM panel
is now 10,000 households.

The firm adds that larger sample sizes are increasingly important due to the continuing fragmentation of television viewing. A larger sample also supports the more granular measurement that clients are requesting as the television industry moves in the direction of commercial minute ratings. It will further help Nielsen accomplish many of the objectives of its Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative, which seeks to measure televised video as it moves beyond the television set in the home to the Internet, hand-held devices and to platforms outside the house.

Nielsen US executive VP client services Sara Erichson says, "Nielsen is committed to continuously improving the quality of its television measurement and this expansion will be a major step forward in the accuracy and the flexibility of our national television panel. With a panel of a hundred thousand people, we can more precisely pinpoint the viewing of all demographic groups and dig deeper into the audience levels for networks of all sizes."

The firnm says the move s also has implications for Nielsen's A2/M2 initiatives, all of which are built around the concept of 'following the video,' wherever it migrates. The plans for out-of-home viewing, streaming video on the Internet, and 'third screen' devices such as cell phones and hand-held video players, are based on integrating these measurements with traditional television measurement. This much larger national sample creates the necessary foundation for0 an integrated measurement approach.


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